|Experiencing Allan West's Art Sanctuary in Tokyo
Through his pioneering efforts in the innovative blending of multiple Japanese painting traditions, Allan West,
student of the master Kayama Matazo,
has opened up new frontiers of Japanese Nihonga painting and become one
of the most highly regarded painters in that field.
In addition to West's many private collectors throughout the world,
most of the works which can be seen in public venues are the large scaled folding screen paintings for which he is known.
Through his free blending of Rimpa and Kano brushwork,
we can see West is not only an inheritor of the many traditional Japanese
but with his own contemporary vision, an avant-garde Nihonga innovator.
Of special note is West's study of minerals, the knowledge of which helps
him to create works which dramatically change,
delighting the viewer with only a subtle change in light.
Particularly awe inspiring are these works in which West uses gold and silver leaf with great facility.
At first glance, West's paintings may look profoundly elegant,
but we can see this balanced by his unconventionally playful touch which
has its origin in auspicious themes.
From the formality of West's traditional Nihonga artworks to his designs
which enrich everyday living,
we can understand how the excitement of his artistic appeal has spread