Kinosita Seigai was born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan in 1887. He studied paintings with Tanaka Teizan. In 1903, Kinosita headed for Tokyo to study painting. He followed Nakakura Gyokusui and then transferred to Murase Tamada’s studio. In 1909, Kinosita joined Takeuchi Seihou’s Takeju Association in Kyoto. In 1923, the Great Kanto Earth prompted Kinosita to make his decision to move to Taiwan and reside in Tamsui. In 1927, while Taiwan Provincial Government was prompting “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition,” Kinosita served as the secretary of exhibition affair. Besides, Kinosita served as the jury of Toyo painting department for both “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition” and “Taiwan Governmental Fine Arts Exhibition” consecutively without absence. Kinosita confounded Zhantan Club with Gouhara Kotou. They began to instruct Taiwanese painters. During his stay in Taiwan, Kinosita Seigai often rendered birds, flowers of Taiwan and landscapes of Tamsui as his themes. In order to illustrate the mountain views of Taiwan, Kinosita even joined Alpine Club and became a member. Kinosita emphasized on the observation and the sketch of true nature. His point of view matched “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition’s” major concern with the development of Taiwanese “logo colors.” Thus, painter Murakami Hideo, who was active during Japanese occupation praised Kinosita and said: “Kinosita illustrates the beauty and landscape of the island with Shijo style, he is one of a kind in the Taiwanese art scene.” In January 2011, the painter’s old residency was eventually designated as an important historical building of Tamsui District by New Taipei City government.
Kinosita is skilled at landscape paintings and paintings about flowers and birds. His major techniques include ink illustrations, ink outlines with light water colors, overlapping colors as well as “awaiting water” dying technique to present concentration and contrast in order to illustrate the different status of water and air. Kinosita renders the technique of “rinsing” and expresses his personal poetic painting style. Meanwhile, Kinosita presents the western distancing expression in the water ink painting, and his choice of Taiwan landscape as his theme also conforms to his purpose to represent “logo colors” of Taiwan through his participation in “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition.” Kinosita Seigai resided in No. 26, Three Stories House, Tamsui Street since 1923. His residency is called “Utopian Villa.” Downpour in Tamsui Harbour is the work illustrating the distant view of Tamsui River in a sudden downpour which drives egrets into bushes to avoid the rain. In the painting, the distant Guanyin Mountain is covered in ever changing fog and mist. With his coloring skills, Kinosita presents layers of ink colors and the variations of lights with excellence and recreates the dimly discernible Tamsui landscape in the wind, in the mist, and in the fog. The work displays the poeticism of the enshrouding scenery between heaven and earth—the ideal utopia for Kinosita.
After Shiga Shiketaga’s On the Japan Landscape was published in 1894 and created a boom of “rediscovering Japanese landscape,” Yuki Somei founded Musei-kai (The Silent Association) in resonance with the modern painting realism and sketching skills found in western painting and insisted on illustrating the reality of society in Meiji Era. The most important significance of such a point of view was that natural landscapes and sceneries not only can offer objective descriptions and illustrations, they also reflect upon personal subjective state of mind. Meanwhile, they can also help local people reach consensus and their identification with the land they live in. During The Taisho era Japanese master painter Matsubayashi Keigetsu once commented: “The Nanga painting is the naturalism for personification, it shares similarities with the western Cubism and Futurism in their creativities.” Matsubayashi’s assurance had supported Kinosita’s attitude toward the modernization of Taiwanese traditional water ink painting. Kinosita put his ideas into practice through official exhibitions in Taiwan. Kinosita trailblazed a new path for the Japanese painting style which emphasizes on the thick splendid coloring and endowed it with fascinated aerial watercolor techniques that emphasis on the verve of ink.
|English title：||Downpour in Tamsui Harbour|
|Medium / Classification：||Eastern Gouache|
|Life-span：||1887 - 1988|
|Collection Unit：||National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Guide to the Use of Image Files and Data from the Online Collection Database
|Related Exhibition：||Unique Vision Ⅱ：Highlights from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Collection|