INKED MOON - (Alejandro Montaño)

This gallery includes representations of the moon in ink from Japan during the late 18th and 19th century.

Tsukioka portrays a geisha watching the moon from a dock. The moon is posed large and distorted on the left. Tsukioka has painted the geisha posed large and in the center, taking up most of the image. However, after looking at the geisha, our eyes travel towards the moon thanks to the overall lines directing us to that position.
A piece from Tsukioka's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon series. Again, a woman is with her back turned, facing the moon. The moon is now blocked a lamp, yet still manages to captivate the moon more than other elements by peaking over the light, shining bright, and meeting the lines set up around it.
Ogata Gekko's painting shows Lady Murasaki, a famous novelist from the 11th century, on her balcony under a full moon. Unlike the women before her, Murasaki does not look straight at the moon, but at a decoration in front of her. The decoration, however, is round, like the moon, and is placed perpendicular to it, thus reflecting it.
Another piece from Tsukioka's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon. This time, the moon is dark and menacing, looming over the left corner. Its ominous representation reflects the scene under it; a woman facing a dangerous folk figure. Tsukioka has now chosen to usen more grays and other darker colors of ink to cover most of the space around the moon.
Takeuchi Keishu represents another woman under a moon. The image does not have many elements vying for the viewer's attention. The woman is beautiful and delicate, almost vulnerable, and seems to be watched over by the moon floating large on the left. The woman looks back to her right, meeting a line with the bottom right corner, and the top left where the moon is placed.
Mizuno Toshikata represents yet another woman looking up at the moon, set in a delicate environment. It's interesting that the moon is being represented with women, since the moon represents the mother in many cultures and religions. The women are all looking up at the moon, reaching for it, or are being inadvertently watched over by the moon.
Arai Yoshimune's "The Rising Moon" is a warm scene depicting a dock where we see a house, and kids, and most importantly, the moon. The left side, with many different elements, rich in detail, and dark, in contrast, holds a lot of weight in the piece. Yet still the moon stands bright and by herself delicately to the right, effortlessly capturing the viewer's attention once again.
Nomura Yoshikuni explores the darker symbolism of the moon with "Bat Against Full Moon." The piece is a delicate representation of the moon, bright and large, covering most of the image. The darker tones in the sky help bring the moon closer and contrast it in the sky. The bat is large and dark and seems to be traveling high in the sky towards the moon.
Shibata Zesin creates a very interesting composition in "Gentians and Full Moon." Flowers are placed colorfully at the bottom right corner, diagonal to the bright moon. The moon is barely drawn on the paper, with just the silhouette showing, creating what looks like a dandelion's head floating off the flowerless stem.
Nagasawa Rosetsu takes on a completely different route with a more abstract design. Nagasawa finds a similarity between the moon and a jellyfish, both rounded and soft, with dark spots. The moon, just like the jellyfish, is delicate but dangerous (as we can see in previous pieces). Both images come together beautifully blended in a way that might've been difficult to obtain without the use of ink.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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