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Japanese Style Painting "Nihonga" - Outline

Program Description

The Expression by Japanese painting has a long and continuous tradition accumulated over a thousand years. In the program, students study this tradition to build the basics throughout their four years. In addition, they will be required to expand the tradition to advance their careers as working artists.

In the first and second years, students are encouraged to acquire the basic skills for Japanese painting. They study materials such as glue, pigment, paper, and brushes through assignments to draw and paint animals, plants, landscapes, and other subjects. They also study traditional color, line representation, and technique used in Japanese painting through studying classical Japanese clothes and reproducing classic works.

Building on the skills acquired in the first two years, junior students begin more advanced study. Subjects for this year require more individual vision and independent research. There will be classical-art-research-travels that students visit manufactories for pigment, paper and ink to deepen their understanding of materials. Also, they visit Buddhist temples and other sites where they can study the traditional expression of Japanese paintings such as those seen in paintings on room partitions.

The fourth year concentrates on preparing for and producing a graduation work (which is displayed in a graduation exhibition) as a summary of undergraduate studies. Making a large-scale painting will give students an opportunity to pursue more professional expression in Japanese painting and to think of their next inquiries.

Admission Policy

Because of the importance of tradition on Japanese painting, the program seeks students who can, during the four-year undergraduate period, build the traditional basics of painting techniques and material handling, and develop them further to work as professional contemporary artists. Consideration will be given to applicants who:

  • Can proactively produce their works with fundamental materials and techniques for Japanese painting.
  • Have extensive observation skills, insight toward nature, and willingness to study the basics of Japanese painting.