Roger S. KeynesCatàleg de l'exposició celebrada a la New York Public Library20 d'octubre del 2006 al 4 de febrer del 2007
Autor: Roger S. KeynesTítol: Ehon. The artist and the book in JapanEditor: New York Public LibraryData: 2006Format: tela, 23 x 30,5 cm, 320 pàgines, 250 il·lustracions en colorISBN: 0-295-986-24-7
Ehon – or “picture books”– are part ofan incomparable 1,200-year-old Japanesetradition. Created by artists and craftsmen,most ehon also feature essays, poems, orother texts written in beautiful, distinctivecalligraphy. They are by nature collaborations:visual artists, calligraphers, writers,and designers join forces with papermakers,binders, block cutters, and printers. Thebooks they create are strikingly beautiful,highly charged microcosms of deep feeling,sharp intensity, and extraordinary intelligence.In the elegant, richly illustrated Ehon:The Artist and the Book in Japan, renownedscholar Roger S. Keyes traces the historyand evolution of these remarkable booksthrough seventy key works, includingmany great rarities and unique masterpieces,from the Spencer Collection of the NewYork Public Library, one of the foremostcollections of Japanese illustrated booksin the West.
The earliest ehon were made as religiousofferings or talismans, but their greatflowering began in the early modern period(1600–1868) and has continued, with newmedia and new styles and subjects, to thepresent. Shiohi no tsuto (Gifts of the EbbTide, 1789; often called The Shell Book)by Kitagawa Utamaro, one of the supremeachievements of the ehon tradition, isreproduced in full. Michimori (ca. 1604),a luxuriously produced libretto for a Noplayis also featured, as are Saito- Shu-ho’scheerful Kishi empu (Mr. Ginger’s Book ofLove, 1803), Kamisaka Sekka’s brilliantMomoyogusa (Flowers of a HundredWorlds, 1910), and many more.
Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japanends with ehon by some of the most innovativepractitioners of the twentieth century.Among these are Chizu (The Map, 1965),Kawada Kikuji's profound photographicrequiem for Hiroshima; Yoko Tawada’sand Stephan Köhler’s affecting Ein Gedichtfür ein Buch (A Poem for a Book, 1996);and Vija Celmins’s and Eliot Weinberger’sHoshi (The Stars, 2005).
The magnificent ehon tradition originatedin Japan and developed there under veryspecific conditions, but it has long sinceburst its bounds, like any living tradition.Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japansuggests that when artists meet readers inthese contrived, protected, focused, sacredbook “worlds,” the possibilities for pleasure,insight, and inspiration are limitless.