View of the interior of the Kōraku-en room, part of the Kin U-jo Building, Okayama Sub-metropolis, headquarters of the Hebigakure-gumi.

View of the interior of the Kōraku-en room, part of the Kin U-jo Building, Okayama Sub-metropolis, headquarters of the Hebigakure-gumi.

Marker and Acrylic on MDF.

Width- 43.5cm

Height- 28cm

Featured in the AC2 group exhibition.

 

This picture was done for the AC2 (which stands for Alchemist’s Chamber 2) group show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery. This was one in a series of three exhibitions.

The first exhibition, entitled 'The Alchemist's Chamber', focused on the purported aim of alchemy to transform base metals into gold, and the comparison with artists turning raw materials into objects of value. It therefore featured artists turning recycled items into artworks.

AC2 focused on the use of gold itself, with artists producing work that contained gold (not necessarily actual gold, some of us are on a budget).

Producing this piece for the show was a nightmare. Initially I tried to used a gold effect marker, which turn a kind of neon green when applied to MDF. Now, I loved the colour (you can still see it in the spider web pattern on the lady’s dress), but it wasn’t gold. And so back to the drawing board. Off to the art store to hunt down some imitation gold acrylic paint. Now I am absolutely dreadful at painting, and you can imagine how tedious trying to paint around such a detailed drawing would be. And then there’s the fact that, due to the absorbency of the MDF, I had to apply three coats of the gold paint.

In hindsight though, it was well worth the effort. Although I don’t like everything about this picture, I am happy with how it turned out overall.

The painted screen in the background is based on Red and White Plum Blossoms by Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), a famous Japanese painter of the famous Rinpa school. I highly recommend looking him up; his work is incredible.

The Kōraku-en is a famous garden in Okayama, located near Okayama Castle. Kin U-Jō, meaning Golden Crow Castle, was a nickname given to Okayama Castle before 1600, when its roof tiles were gilded with gold. Today much of the gilding is gone, and because of its black colour, the castle’s nickname is simply U-Jō, Crow Castle. Matsumoto Castle is also known as Crow Castle, but it is called Karasu-jō in Japanese.

 

Add new comment