With Chikuha Otake

With Chikuha Otake (2018)

As a part of Eiko's new Duet Project: Distance is Malleable, Eiko creates a duet with her grandfather's paintings. Painter Chikuha Otake (1878-1936) who died 16 years before Eiko was born. A duet with a dead person's work is an attempt to learn about the dead, his art, and take in and share the remains of the dead. It is to also discover and nurture the self in relationship to the dead.

Chikuha was a praised figure in traditional Japanese painting. He earned many national awards in his early career. But later his experimenting with more ambitious styles and his anti-mainstream sentiments were shunned by the field authorities. Out of his frustration, he ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives in 1915. His loss brought him much debt and his reputation was severely damaged.

Eiko went to see the exhibition held at Suiboku Museum in Toyama, Japan that marked the 140th anniversary of Chikuha Otake’s birth was the first large-scale showing of his work more than 80 years after his death. She performed alone in the gallery without any audience member. Eiko will also work with two of his paintings in the collections of The Museum of Fine Art Boston and Philadelphia.

See Video of A Duet With My Grandfather I have Never Met