A mercurial Kingfisher leans from a branch, ready to dash from his perch to catch his next meal. Just as he is about to burst into flight, the willow buds are about to burst from their shells - a ripe moment captured by the artist with seeming ease and spontaneity. Kishi painted one bird on one branch and nothing else. He shed all the unnecessary explanation and presented a distilled and pregnant moment of one early spring day. His balance between quick and careful captures the paradox between a moment and timelessness. It is an intricate painting; still the work goes in through our eyes straight to our soul, bypassing our noisy and cluttered brain, and leading us to both enjoyment and contemplation.
About this Artist:
Kishi Renzan (1805 - 1859) was trained in the studio of Kishi Ganku (1749 - 1838), his father-in-law and the founder of the Kishi School*. Renzan was excellent for his images of animals and was particularly adept at capturing the essence of an animal’s spirit in the frozen moment. These two members of the Kishi family, Ganku and Renzan learned from their Shijo school contemporaries the distinctive minimalist brushwork and composition that elevates Japanese painting above sentimental and purely decorative scenes of wildlife.
*In the history of Japanese art, it was common that school of art has its founder’s family name as the name of the school and it was hereditary, as opposed to Minimalism or Abstract Expressionism.