From The Mountain Lake Screen Tachi Series

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Okura Jiro
Japanese, born 1942

From The Mountain Lake Screen Tachi Series, 1990

Two four-panel screens, cashew oil paint, and gold leaf on black walnut
259.1 x 208.9 cm (102 x 82 1/4 x 1 in.)
Gift of the artist, 2005.173.1-2



These screens were produced by Okura Jiro in Virginia during the artist’s 1990 residence at the Mountain Lake Workshop, which has given its name to the title of the work.

Although only five screens from the series are on display here, Okura created sixteen in all, each its own vertical monument recalling a glimmering cityscape. When all sixteen are set up side by side, they create the effect of a wall about one hundred and twenty feet in length. The panels have been made of black walnut that has been distressed and painted with black and cinnabar red pigment, and then loosely covered over the entire surface with gold foil adhered with rabbit-skin glue. Pieces of imitation gold leaf sway with the slightest movement of air and glisten as they catch the light. It is the artist’s intention that, over time, bits of the gold leaf will fall from the screens and the wood will return to its natural state. His acceptance of the gradual transformation of his art can be taken as a metaphor for the ever-changing condition of nature stressed in Buddhism.

This work is on display for the entire exhibition period.