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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Abu Dhabi Art: Japan’s natural treasure

Waterfall by Hiroshi Senju. Courtesy: Whitestone Gallery
Waterfall by Hiroshi Senju. Courtesy: Whitestone Gallery

For me, it is a testament of courage and class when a gallery chooses a solo show for an art fair. Most booths are full with a cacophony of artists, some well curated, others not, but the vast majority are from a group of artists. After all, fairs are places to sell and more artists attract more buyers.

So, when I discovered Whitestone Gallery from Tokyo tucked away at the back of Abu Dhabi Art with a gorgeous solo show from Hiroshi Senju, I knew I would be giving them coverage.

Senju is one of Japan’s leading painters - he even has a museum dedicated to 100 of his works - and he known for his large scale waterfall paintings, several of which are on display in Abu Dhabi until the end of the weekend.

Interested in the passing of time and the effects of gravity on everything in the natural world, Senju repeatedly paints the waterfall. What is fascinating is that he uses traditional Japanese painting techniques; employing pigments derived from natural materials such as coral and sea shells and applying them to a specially designed mulberry paper with a glue made from animal gelatin.

The result is that he has created a mostly natural product and something that harks back to the deep traditions of his country but presented in a contemporary style.

I am happy to have discovered Hiroshi Senju and I encourage you all to go check him out too.

* Whitestone Gallery are located in booth A17 at Abu Dhabi Art, which runs until Saturday at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi. To find out more about the gallery visit their website - www.whitestonegallery.co.jp