From July 13 to September 15, 2013
The exhibition Kimonos and Samurai, curated by the Art Director of the Geiger Foundation, Alessandro Schiavetti, is a journey through time that will take visitors into the culture, traditions and arts of Japan. On display are samurai suits of armour, kimonos, blades and several accessories that traditionally complement the outfit and equipment of the woman and the warrior, as well as a series of precious themed ukiyo-e prints.
In Japanese culture, the arts embody the constant search for balance and harmony that finds expression in the neat, controlled body language of the master and in the expertise of technique. For this reason, beauty and harmony in the Eastern world are an integral part of everyday life and no distinction exists between fine arts and handicraft. The artist is the jealous repository of a wisdom acquired through dedication and commitment that will be passed on to the trustworthy apprentice, crossing the barriers of time. The beauty and grace that can be perceived in the decorations of kimonos, the traditional Japanese robe for both men and women, the serenity and essentiality that are conveyed by Japanese paintings and prints, the functionality and awesomeness of samurai armours, the grotesque disfigurement of kabuto helmets and mempō face masks or the perfect balance of blades are all aspects of the same aesthetic research.
Asymmetry, simplicity, understatement, naturalness, profundity of things, freedom and tranquillity are the seven principles of Zen aesthetics, probably the Eastern philosophy that had the greatest impact on arts. The ostensibly unfillable gap between the arts related to strength and the sphere of man and those connected to grace and the female world does not exist and, in fact, it always finds a sublime balance in beauty and in the ritual gesture.
The exhibition follows a highly symbolic route around the complex world of traditional Japan, through the masterpieces of applied arts lent by Milanese antiquarian Giuseppe Piva (samurai armours from the Edo period, tsuba, netsuke and screens of the Rimpa school), by Gloria Gobbi’s atelier Antichi Kimono (kimono, haori and obi), by Paolo Cammelli, (ancient and modern blades), and by Giancarlo Mariani (ukiyo-e prints and kakemono).
These unique items will be put into context through the scenographic reconstruction of traditional Japanese homes and gardens.
Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation, Exhibition Hall
Piazza Guerrazzi 32, I-57023 Cecina, Livorno
Opening hours: daily from 6 to 11 p.m. – Free admission