Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire through Japanese eyes: Buddhism, Christianity, and Shintoism

Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire through Japanese eyes: Buddhism, Christianity, and Shintoism

The contemporary Japanese artist, Sawako Utsumi, who hails from Northern Japan, once more creates a lovely art piece. Spiritually, her background is based on Shintoism and tinged with Buddhism based on the cultural legacy. Yet, in general, the Shinto faith predominates despite paying deep respect during her visit to Buddhist temples. However, aspects of Christianity also appeal to Utsumi, even if this is in the cultural realm and based on small Christian churches appearing like folk Shintoism.

Unsurprisingly, Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire appealed greatly to Utsumi based on visual images of this Grade I listed building. In her mindset, the terrible events of the Dissolution (1536-1541) – or the Dissolution of the Monasteries – can be understood, to a degree, by the stunning grounds and buildings that remain of Fountains Abbey. This relates to the legacy of the spiritual effect that Fountains Abbey is still blessed with despite the terrible events of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

In other words, the secularization of modern-day Japan and the United Kingdom are creating a religious vacuum that is being entered by new “soulless cultures.” The upshot of this is that major Christian Cathedrals in the United Kingdom – just like potent Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in places like Koyasan, Kyoto, Nara, Nikko, and others – are important popular windows into a past that is often far-away from everyday life. Hence, these major centers of religion in Japan and the United Kingdom are still attracting countless numbers of people; despite vast numbers of ordinary Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto holy places struggling to attract worshippers in big numbers. However, often people who visit or pray are disconnected with the real tenets of the respective faiths based on secularization and modernization.

One can only imagine the utter devastation and disconnection felt by many Christian holy people and lay people during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Likewise, in post World War Two in the land of the rising sun, it is clear that Buddhism and Shintoism were put on a back burner. This is based on the demands of America put on Japan and the collaboration of Japanese political elites. Therefore, the new mantra focused heavily on modernization and high technology fused with many precepts that apply to Confucian logic in the realm of ethics and educational attainment.

The New Statesman reports, “It is said that Japanese marry in a Shinto ritual and live life with Confucian ethics, and the deceased is buried and its soul is transformed into ancestors in a Buddhist ritual. These three events are essential factors in a person’s life and the Japanese religions are centered round these three elements, birth, living and death.”

Hence, just like Shinto focuses on ancestors, Utsumi witnesses Fountains Abbey based on a plethora of different factors. For example, the spiritual realm of Fountains Abbey survives both the Dissolution of the Monasteries and modern-day secularization. Therefore, despite Fountains Abbey being but a shadow of a once thriving Christian holy place, just like Shinto ancestors that have long perished, the spiritual psyche remains potent based on the connection of the senses.

Utsumi is utilizing the life of the river by imbuing this flowing continuity inside the remnants of what is left of Fountains Abbey. In this sense, the power of nature in Shinto is a duality of the river within the spiritual mindset when visualizing – or visiting – the delightful Fountains Abbey. In other words, despite the passages of time the spiritual dimension of Fountains Abbey remains potent – just like nature – despite the countless upheavals done by humanity.

Overall, the end result is a delightful art piece by Utsumi who is fusing many themes. This is witnessed by the equal importance of the flowing life of the river that represents the spirituality that Fountains Abbey is blessed with, despite the terrible events of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Therefore, nature and spirituality come together to create a multi-dimensional effect to this gorgeous art piece by Utsumi.

Lee Jay Walker

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/fountains-abbey-in-yorkshire-through-japanese-eyes-sawako-utsumi.html

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/art-of-japan-and-the-two-paths-of-shintoism-and-buddhism-holy-men-in-the-snow-without-abraham-sawako-utsumi.html

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/spirit-of-shinto-and-ukiyo-e-in-the-light-of-nature-sawako-utsumi.html

http://sawakoart.com

https://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-faith-column/2007/06/birth-life-japanese-shinto

 

Japanese Artist and Landscapes of Manchester: Blackley Forest, Heaton Park, and River Irk

Japanese Artist and Landscapes of Manchester: Blackley Forest, Heaton Park, and River Irk

The contemporary Japanese artist, Sawako Utsumi, fuses the art world of Japan and Europe based on an array of areas. For example, from the inspiration of traditional Dutch art to the cityscapes of Paris. Similarly, her Japanese art focuses on angles related to Buddhism, Shintoism, and old art forms. At the same time, Utsumi adores the landscapes of the High Peak area and Peak District in general; in relation to the stunning county of Derbyshire and the beautiful Christian churches that dot the landscape. However, in this article, the emphasis is on Heaton Park and the hidden gem of Blackley Forest in Manchester.

Ironically, while these two art pieces focus on the natural landscapes of Manchester, Utsumi also adores L.S. Lowry (Lowry inspired art piece below by Utsumi) with his connection to Salford and Manchester respectively. In stark contrast to L.S. Lowry, who especially focused on scenes related to the Industrial Revolution and ordinary working-class lifestyles, Utsumi focuses on the angle of nature in relation to her landscapes of Manchester.

In her latest oil painting, titled the Hidden Gem of Blackley Forest in Manchester, the adorable natural landscape comes alive. Indeed, the other art piece, titled Laburnum Tree in Splendid Isolation, is also based in the same part of north Manchester. However, despite Blackley Forest and Heaton Park sharing the same environment and being within a few minutes walking distance, it is true to say that Blackley Forest is a genuine “Hidden Gem.” After all, you rarely see many people relaxing in this less known part of Manchester despite Blackley Forest being extremely beautiful and blessed with a rich natural habitat for animals, birds, various species of trees, and plants. Also, Utsumi focuses on the natural beauty of the River Irk that flows into the River Irwell in central Manchester.

The art piece by Utsumi shows Blackley Forest in all its natural beauty. This applies to the delightful landscape and the mellow walk by the River Irk. Hence, the natural flow of the River Irk blends beautifully with trees, flowers, and plants, depicted by Utsumi in her latest art piece.

In a past article, I state, “The other art piece, Laburnum Tree in Splendid Isolation, highlights the natural beauty of nature. Indeed, for individuals who adore the laburnum tree, then while the original art piece is located in northwest England, the tree itself could be in various parts of this nation. Immediately, the adorable laburnum tree hits the individual because people who love this species will have vivid memories.”

Overall, this contemporary Japanese artist continues to blossom because of the array of angles to her art. Therefore, her latest art piece illuminates the stunning beauty of Blackley Forest in Manchester.

Lee Jay Walker

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

http://www.blackleyforest.com/

BELOW IS A NEW BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI

Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/hidden-gem-of-blackley-forest-in-manchester-sawako-utsumi.html Hidden Gem of Blackley Forest by Sawako Utsumi

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/laburnum-tree-in-splendid-isolation-sawako-utsumi.html Laburnum Tree in Splendid Isolation by Sawako Utsumi

http://sawakoart.com Sawako Utsumi and articles related to her art.

 

Japanese Art and Esaias Van De Velde: Christian Churches and Dutch Villages Through Japanese Eyes

Japanese Art and Esaias Van De Velde: Christian Churches and Dutch Villages Through Japanese Eyes

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The contemporary Japanese artist Sawako Utsumi adores the richness of Dutch Art from the distant past of the fifteenth to seventeenth century. In this article, the focus is firmly on Esaias van de Velde who passed away in 1630. However, despite the clear admiration held by Utsumi who is paying homage to Esaias, the color scheme and central theme of Christianity in a placid sense are extremely pronounced.

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If you fast forward to modern times in Holland and Japan then the old world is still ticking to the traditions of the past in the countryside. Yes, the religious fervor and areas of stratification will be different in comparison with the past, yet despite this, the images conjured up in the mind survives.

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I state in a past article, “In the realm of fame, history, time, religious values and natural landscapes then Esaias and Utsumi are a million miles apart. However, in the world of art then anything is possible providing the natural feel is linked with passion and admiration. Therefore, for Utsumi, it is natural to flow between time, space, concepts and ideas because the mystery of Shintoism isn’t constrained by religious orthodoxy.”

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In the latest art piece by Utsumi titled Japanese Artistic Light of Esaias Van De Velde, the color scheme and central role of Christianity is striking. Likewise, people depicted seem to have time to waste based on tranquility. At the same time, houses look quaint and the natural flow of life seems a million miles away from modern Tokyo where Utsumi currently resides.

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It is known that Esaias admired Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569). Intriguingly, this artist was called “Peasant Bruegel.” For Utsumi, the artist Bruegel is also deeply admired because of his depiction of adorable landscapes and artistic themes that focus on peasants. In a sense, Utsumi is trying to fuse both artists within her art based on several angles.

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Utsumi’s other art piece titled Japanese Reflection of Esaias van de Velde ties in greatly with her latest art piece titled Japanese Artistic Light of Esaias Van De Velde. Therefore, despite the homage being shown by Utsumi towards Esaias, it is abundantly clear that her own thoughts are focused on different themes outside of the original art pieces by Esaias and this notably applies to the Christian angle.

Lee Jay Walker

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

BELOW IS A NEW BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI

Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

sawako-book-3

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-artistic-light-of-esaias-van-de-velde-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-reflection-of-esaias-van-de-velde-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/esaias-van-de-velde-in-japanese-light-sawako-utsumi.html

Japanese Artist and Aert Van Der Neer: Christianity, Dutch Art, Edo Period and Altered Realities

Japanese Artist and Aert Van Der Neer: Christianity, Dutch Art, Edo Period and Altered Realities

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The Dutch Golden Age of art is a true blessing because the potency remains despite the enormous distance in time. Not surprisingly, the contemporary Japanese artist Sawako Utsumi adores this reality. This fact can be seen visibly in her respective homage to Aert van der Neer and Esaias van de Velde. Therefore, her latest two art pieces in relation to van der Neer (1603-1677) really stand out because of passion, altered realities, color schemes, new induced Christian church – and a plethora of other intriguing factors.

In the latest art piece by Utsumi (highlighted above), titled Japanese Art and Semblance of Aert van der Neer, it is apparent that a changed landscape emerges. Yet, this reality is extremely gentle, despite the significance and cultural factors behind this change. After all, interactions took place between the Dutch and Japanese in distant history despite enormous constraints.

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On top of this, the religious wars that pitted Catholicism and Protestantism in parts of Europe, just like the sectarian conflicts involving Sunni Takfiri Islamists and the persecuted Shia in the modern world, equally held true during the Edo period in Japan. Indeed, during the lifetime of van der Neer, the crushing of Christianity in Japan took place during the long years of the Tokugawa period (Edo period). Equally intriguing, the Edo period began in the birth year of van der Neer in 1603.

Ironically, the Dutch, just like the British supporting non-Christians against Christians throughout history, also played a part in the crushing of the Japanese Christian rebellion. After all, the Dutch gave tacit support, irrespective if limited in scale, in the crushing of the Christian peasant uprising called the Shimabara Rebellion (1637-1638). Therefore, when Christians were holding out in Hara Castle the Dutch abide by Tokugawa requests and bomb the followers of Christianity.

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In this sense, Utsumi is recollecting history but this time instead of the eradication of Christianity in Japan during the Edo period, you now have a refined Christian church in the background that replaces the windmill by van der Neer. This intriguing reality is obvious to people of history but is most likely lost on people who view without such knowledge. Similarly, while Japanese Christians became martyrs for the Christian cross, the poverty they suffered was equally felt by van der Neer, despite the causes being based on enormously different factors.

Overall, just like the earlier art piece by Utsumi called Japanese Light in Remembrance of Aert van der Neer, it is clear that you have distinctive hidden factors. Therefore, the cultural, historical, religious – and independent altered landscape by Utsumi – works a treat and this equally applies to the adorable color scheme by this modern Japanese artist.

Lee Jay Walker

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-art-and-semblance-of-aert-van-der-neer-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-light-in-remembrance-of-aert-van-der-neer-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-reflection-of-esaias-van-de-velde-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/esaias-van-de-velde-in-japanese-light-sawako-utsumi.html

Modern Tokyo Times images

 

Japanese Artist and Homage to the Dutch Artist Aert Van Der Neer

Japanese Artist and Homage to the Dutch Artist Aert Van Der Neer

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The artist Aert van der Neer (1603-1677 ) belongs to the Dutch Golden Age of art but sadly his life was blighted by poverty. It is difficult to imagine the real world that engulfed Dutch artists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but artists including van der Neer provide glimpses. In saying that, these glimpses mainly apply to architecture, culture, landscapes, rural areas and other natural realities. However, the world that entrapped van der Neer personally during his life remains distant from his art. This applies to the endless struggles he faced with providing for his family, similarly it is known that van der Neer died in abject poverty.

Despite everything the legacy of van der Neer (Original image below is Aert van de Neer) remains potent within Dutch art. Likewise, for modern artists like Sawako Utsumi, who hails from northern Japan, it is clear that his individualistic qualities shine out. Interestingly, Utsumi did two recent art pieces focusing on another Dutch artist called Esaias van de Velde (Third image by Sawako Utsumi paying homage to Esaias van de Velde). Therefore, the Dutch art world of the sixteenth and seventeenth century appeals greatly to Utsumi.

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Turning back to van der Neer then Kathleen Kuiper says “Apart from a number of accomplished winter scenes—such as View of the River in Winter in the manner of Hendrik Avercamp (1585–1634), who was among the first northern Dutch painters of winter scenes—van der Neer specialized in canal and river landscapes seen by the light of sunset or early dawn or—most characteristic of all—by moonlight, as in River Scene by Moonlight. Within this somewhat limited range, van der Neer had no rival among his contemporaries. His sensitive handling of subdued light and its reflections on water and in the windows of riverside houses is unequaled. Scholars agree that he was at the height of his powers from the mid-1640s to about 1660.”

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Utsumi focuses on the Frozen River at Sunset by van der Neer. However, like usual this intriguing Japanese artist provides her own angles in relation to color schemes, the background of nature and other realities. The upshot being a lovely homage to van der Neer whereby the original enters the mindset. Yet, the art piece equally acknowledges the personal qualities of Utsumi who creates a lovely art piece titled Japanese Light in Remembrance of Aert van der Neer.

At the time of writing, it is known that Utsumi will soon complete another art piece based on the exquisiteness of van der Neer. It is known that this includes replacing the background windmill with a Christian church. Therefore, the individuality and special qualities of Utsumi will fuse itself within the adorable art of van der Neer.

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Overall, the intriguing reality of van der Neer shines brightly within the art of this contemporary Japanese artist. In this sense, while the differences of time, culture, religion, and notoriety are a million miles apart, the commonality of “art” and “passion” shines through elegantly by Utsumi who is paying homage to this distinguished Dutch artist.

Lee Jay Walker

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-light-in-remembrance-of-aert-van-der-neer-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-reflection-of-esaias-van-de-velde-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/esaias-van-de-velde-in-japanese-light-sawako-utsumi.html

http://www.britannica.com/biography/Aert-van-der-Neer

Sawako Utsumi – 1st, 3rd, and 4th image

Aert van der Neer – 2nd image

Japanese Art and Creativity of Sawako Utsumi: Sakai Hoitsu and Yokoyama Taikan

Japanese Art and Creativity of Sawako Utsumi: Sakai Hoitsu and Yokoyama Taikan

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Sawako Utsumi is a modern artist from Japan who adores the richness of European and Japanese art. At the same time, this exquisite artist also adores painting landscapes of the natural beauty of the High Peak in Derbyshire, the richness of Christian churches that dot the landscape of this part of England and fusing ideas from her Buddhist and Shinto background. On top of this, the legacy of artists including Pieter Brueghel, L.S. Lowry, Sakai Hoitsu, Yuzo Saeki, Kamisaka Sekka, Yokoyama Taikan, J.M.W. Turner, Maurice Utrillo and Esaias van de Velde appeal greatly – along with other artists. Therefore, Utsumi is always looking for new angles irrespective if original landscapes and themes – or if paying tributes to artists that she adores but from individual color schemes and unique angles.

In this article, the main focus is Utsumi expressing her artistic admiration towards Hoitsu and Taikan. These two Japanese artists are extremely different because Hoitsu was born in the middle of the eighteenth century, whereas Taikan (1868-1958) belongs to twentieth-century art. At the same time, the artistic, historical, religious and political world that impacted on both artists is a million miles apart.

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Despite this, Utsumi isn’t restrained by time and different approaches to art. This reality works a treat and the same applies to fusing the richness of her individual internal creativity, with the natural beauty of past European and Japanese artists. The upshot of this reality shines through the art of Utsumi.

Taikan witnessed many momentous political and social changes throughout his lifetime. In contrast, Hoitsu belongs solely to the Edo Period. Given this reality, Taikan fully understood the chaotic nature of life and the ongoing changes taking place within the artistic movement in Japan. Hoitsu, on the other hand, turned the clock back because he admired Ogata Korin (1658-1716) greatly. Therefore, continuity and a more sedate art world appealed to Hoitsu.

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In the art pieces by Utsumi titled “Modern Reflection of Sakai Hoitsu” and “New Japanese Artistic Cloud of Yokoyama Taikan” in this article, it is clear that she is trying to bridge the gap of time and place. Similarly, Utsumi who is paying homage to Hoitsu and Taikan is highlighting the power of rinpa (rimpa) art within these art pieces. Yet, true to the nature of Utsumi, this modern Japanese artist is doing this from a unique angle that transgresses the real virtue of rinpa art.

Intriguingly, in the art piece titled “New Japanese Artistic Cloud of Yokoyama Taikan,” it is abundantly clear that Utsumi is creating a very different outcome from the original art piece by Taikan. However, “Modern Reflection of Sakai Hoitsu” is based on continuity. Therefore, it is apparent that Utsumi is playing on the reality of their respective artistic and historical times within Japanese history.

Lee Jay Walker

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/new-japanese-artistic-cloud-of-yokoyama-taikan-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/modern-reflection-of-sakai-hoitsu-sawako-utsumi.html

http://sawakoart.com

Japan Art and Esaias Van De Velde: Shades of Light Suppress Time and Culture

Japan Art and Esaias Van De Velde: Shades of Light Suppress Time and Culture

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Sawako Utsumi is a modern Japanese artist who focuses on personal landscapes, nature, culture, aspects of Japanese art and re-awakening famous artists but with a twinkle of personal shades, altered images to a minor degree, fusions of culture and unique angles that apply to her own personal art. Of course, with so many amazing artists from the past it is intriguing that Utsumi focuses on such varied European artists. This currently applies to L.S. Lowry, Maurice Utrillo and Esaias van de Velde. However, in time other European artists will be highlighted within her art, various Japanese art forms, individual landscapes, cityscapes, religious art and other areas of art that reach her inner artistic soul.

In the realm of fame, history, time, religious values and natural landscapes then Esaias and Utsumi are a million miles apart. Despite this, in the world of art then anything is possible providing the natural feel is linked with passion and admiration. Therefore, for Utsumi it is natural to flow between time, space, concepts and ideas because the mystery of Shintoism isn’t constrained by religious orthodoxy.

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The art piece by Utsumi titled Esaias van de Velde in Japanese Light (top and second image) is extremely intriguing because unlike the original sketching by Esaias the focus of Utsumi is to create her own individual color scheme. On top of this, individual elements by Utsumi increases the awareness of the respective viewer.

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Also, another art piece by Utsumi titled Japanese Reflection of Esaias van de Velde works a treat with Esaias van de Velde in Japanese Light because you can easily imagine these places being either neighboring villages – or the same village but during slightly different periods of the year. This reality is far from the original two art pieces by Esaias therefore this fact is extremely intriguing.

In another article I comment: The female contemporary artist Sawako Utsumi adores the exquisite landscapes of Esaias. It could well be that Esaias reminds Utsumi of aspects of her childhood in Sendai and her visits to the countryside of Fukushima – and other rural communities in adjacent prefectures. Therefore, the rural landscapes by Esaias and other artistic themes by this sublime artist appeals greatly to Utsumi.”

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Esaias passed away in 1630 and hails from distant Holland. This reality is a far cry from Utsumi who was born in Japan and is a contemporary artist. Despite this, and the enormous differences in culture, religion, modernity, space and time – the amazing art and legacy of Esaias suits the thought patterns of Utsumi. After all, the search for inner peace, a place called home in a chaotic world, adorable landscapes, nature and natural artistic dimensions aren’t set in stone. Given this reality, Esaias van de Velde in Japanese Light and Japanese Reflection of Esaias van de Velde by Utsumi are two adorable art pieces that pay homage to Esaias, while highlighting the enormous individuality of Utsumi and focusing on her own personal concepts. Also, the religious and cultural themes play into past interactions between Holland and Japan based on the mirage of Dejima but with the end result being “light.”

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, post cards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-reflection-of-esaias-van-de-velde-sawako-utsumi.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/esaias-van-de-velde-in-japanese-light-sawako-utsumi.html