WHAT: Individually scheduled press tours for “Rinpa Screens”
WHEN: Open to the public Feb. 18
WHERE: Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Freer Gallery of Art, 1050 Independence Ave. S.W.
WHO: Frank Feltens, The Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art

The National Museum of Asian Art is presenting the exhibition “Rinpa Screens.” Whether displayed in private households or in temples, screens were an integral part of traditional Japanese interiors. Artists could experiment with painting techniques and motifs on these large, decorative surfaces. The three-dimensional, folded format allowed them to play with perception and to cleverly trick the viewer’s eye so that scenes of undulating dragons, stormy seas and elegant foliage came to life and animated a room.

The exhibition will include a selection of screens painted in the Rinpa style, a movement known for stylized forms in bright colors that spanned the 17th to the 19th century. A complementary display of ceramics demonstrates the aesthetic exchange facilitated by trade between Japan and China and interrogates what makes a work of art Japanese.

“Rinpa artists and their styles have become a timeless way to showcase Japanese traditional aesthetics. The National Museum of Asian Art has one of the best collections by Rinpa artists in the world, and this exhibition of screens shows some of our all-time favorites.” – Frank Feltens, The Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art

Note to editors: Members of the media can contact Jennifer Mitchell at mitchellja@si.edu for more information or to schedule a time to speak with the curator and tour the exhibition.