Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Symphony of Light - The Four Seasons and The Universe

"Symphony of Light" is Itchiku Kubota's most significant work, inspired by the ever-changing effects of light and his reverence for nature. The success of its initial five pieces in 1981 encouraged Kubota to envision an ambitious project in which "Symphony of Light" could express his worldview through 80 kimonos representing The Four Seasons and The Universe. He completed 29 kimonos capturing Autumn and Winter and five from The Universe, for a total of 36 "Symphony of Light" kimonos, all exhibited at the Manezh in Moscow.

Autumn and Winter form a mesmerising linked landscape that sweeps from one kimono to the next, emerging as a continuous whole in which vermillion leads shimmering in the light of an autumn sun gradually give way to an austere winter landscape veiled by pervasive snow. The brilliant kimonos of the Universe represent both the burning core of Mount Fuji and Kubota's own flaming creative powers.

Although Kubota could not finish his masterwork as envisioned, "Symphony of Light" remains an effective demonstration of his ability to recast kimonos into a transformative art form. He once said it would be impossible to capture the precise flow of nature's grand design, but in these compositions of colour, light and energy he has indeed come close to achieving the impossible.

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