Japanese painter Hiroshi Senju is known for his captivating, large-scale waterfall paintings. The artist is one of the few remaining masters of nihonga painting, a traditional Japanese style that’s typically painted on washi (Japanese paper) or eginu (silk), using washes of natural pigments.
In Senju’s case, the artist paints on Japanese mulberry paper and uses a combination of acrylic and natural paints. An expert at capturing cascading water in motion, Senju humbly describes his process by saying, “I use water and gravity and paint waterfalls.” Senju’s soothing paintings have been exhibited all over the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, London in 1996, the Tokyo National Museum in 2003, and the Venice Biennale in 2015. This summer, two major exhibitions opened in celebration of Senju’s extensive body of work.
At the Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design, many of Senju’s latest works were on display during July 2018, including the artist’s fusuma paintings for the Kongobuji temple in Japan. A sacred site in Shingon esoteric Buddhism, the tea room and great hall were rebuilt and Senju was commissioned to create his incredible, floor-to-ceiling, sliding door paintings.
In a separate exhibition in collaboration with Tokyo-based collective teamLab, Senju’s paintings come to life in an immersive digital installation, titled Waterness. The installation comprises a continuously looped video, projected onto the space’s walls, which allows the viewers to meditatively wander through the waves and allow tranquil moments to wash over them. TeamLab are known for bringing dream-like experiences to life, and their collaboration with Senju is no exception.