Over the last twenty-five years, Hiramatsu Reiji has returned tirelessly to Giverny. To better understand the work of Claude Monet, he walks through the garden in different seasons, and, during his strolls, fills his notebooks with sketches in which he immerses himself when he returns to his studio.
A traditional nihonga painter, Hiramatsu Reiji is enthralled by matt finishes and wide varieties of pigments. The term nihonga literally means Japanese (nihon) painting (ga). This ancient painting technique was imported from China and Korea to Japan in the 7th century. The painter builds up the colors, one by one, by superimposing them, and sketches the contours using India ink. Metal leaf—gold, silver, copper, and aluminum—can be applied to the medium for their decorative qualities.
Water Lilies and Autumn Leaves illustrates one of the favorite themes of the Japanese painter, Hiramatsu Reiji: the seasons—a motif that was also dear to Monet. However, using his own artistic vision, Hiramatsu took the decorative aspect of the water lilies as his subject matter and reinterpreted Monet's garden. Here he chose a fall morning, with a carpet of orange-red maple leaves.