samedi 9 janvier 2021

Japanese bridge

Hello, Happy New Year (it's never too late) !

The beginning of the year is the perfect moment to:

- have a look at the previous year, and write a summary of what was achieved, and what wasn't

- make plans for the year to come

You know what ? I have no desire to develop any of these items - I would have the feeling to be at work and to be compelled to write the annual review and the planned workload. And since this blog is about a hobby, I decided to have NO plan and to paint whatever I like... as usual :D

So, the year will begin with something different: a new civilization, and improved scenery.

Today, we have a look at a small Japanese bridge.

I have been deeply interested in Japan for years, and I have been lucky enough to visit some parts of Honshu (the main island), particularly the Tokyo and Kyoto areas. And since I am also interested in History, I appreciated to visit castles, temples and traditional houses, and also the wonderful gardens in which you can sometimes see some typical curved bridges such as this one:

The wooden Japanese bridges are often painted vermilion red, like the tori, because that colour indicates a passage between the world of the Humans and the world of the Gods.

Hence the color of my bridge, a mix of red and orange.

On this bridge, we can see 4 warrior monks standing their ground against invisible enemies (Redbox figures).

I realised, after writing this post, that my inspiration obviously came from Japanese woodblock prints. I'm a big fan of ukiyo-e, particularly the Edo period, and among all, my favourite artist is Kuniyoshi.

 Here you are a couple of prints that he designed:

Kuniyoshi 1839 Biography of Yoshitsune - Gojo bridge

Kuniyoshi 1839-41Yoshitsune fighting Benkei on Gojo bridge

The triptych and the diptych have the same subject: they represent Yoshitsune, a young boy and future famous samurai et fight with Benkei, a Sohei (warrior monk) who will become his most faithful ally.

Let's consider now the technical side of today's pictures. It's good to have a small bridge, but you also need a river if you want to take decent pictures!  Therefore, I had to dig in a plate of polystyrene, add some sand, paint, then add some flocking, and paint again... 3 days work for just  few pictures! Now you know why I haven't posted anything since Christmas :)

I hope you like the result :)

See you soon.

Edit 10/01/2020:

To answer a question asked by Eric, The bridge comes from a kit by Sarissa Precision Ltd. They have a very interesting range of 20mm buildings, but it would be very nice if they decided to adapt their whole 28mm range to 20mm :)

And I also added some woodblock prints reproductions above.