All Japanese art has roots in China, and ...the love of contemplation, the affection for nature comes from China, too. Isamu Noguchi In 1930, renowned Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi (1904 1988) travelled eastward on the Trans Siberian railroad towards Japan. During his journey, he stopped for eight months in Beijing, where he met and studied with the renowned Chinese brush and ink painter, Qi Baishi. In the time honoured tradition of Chinese painters, Qi was inspired by artists of the past, but he brought a fresh, spontaneous approach to an ancient art form. He was greatly admired for his dynamic brushwork depicting everyday subjects and natural scenery, his calligraphy and his talent for seal carving. Noguchi spent only a short time with Qi and never returned to China, but the experience greatly affected his creative vision. Much of Noguchi's mature sculpture described by the New York Times as "landmarks of 20th century art ...early stones and meditative gardens bridging East and West" demonstrates his artistic debt to Chinese art and culture. Isamu Noguchi/Qi Baishi/Beijing 1930 brings together the work of these two artists for the first time.
Published to accompany a travelling exhibition, this volume features some 65 drawings by Noguchi and ink painting and calligraphic works by Qi, along with Noguchi's personal seal made for him by Qi Baishi and images of landscapes and historical sites that Noguchi visited in China.
Amy Hau is the Director of Administration and External Affairs at The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York. Heidi Coleman is Archivist at the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York. Britta Erickson is an independent scholar based in Palo Alto, California. Natsu Oyobe is Associate Curator of Asian Art, University of Michigan Museum of Art. Jo Anne Birnie Danzker is Director, Frye Art Museum, Seattle. Lang Shaojun is Director of the Fine Arts Research Laboratory at the Institute of Fine Arts, Chinese Academy of Arts, Beijing.