Printed on 290 gsm Hahnemuelhe Bamboo paper. This paper is made from 90% bamboo fibre and 10% cotton fibre, making it highly sustainable. The paper’s light felt texture and warm, natural white tone enhances Senju’s art in a wonderful way.
Signed and numbered limited edition of 20 copies only in each size. Each individual print is stamped with the artist’s personal read seal (hanko) on the back. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity designed by Senju. The certificate shows the print’s title, size and number. It is signed and stamped with the artist’s red seal.
”Kinyou” (Venus) 40×110 cm
This piece is the second time I create my personal version of a famous work of art. A few years ago I paid tribute to Gustav Klimt’s ”The Kiss” and this time I have been so utterly bold as to create my version of Sandro Botticelli’s ”The Birth of Venus”. It is not a simple task to transform an iconic Renaissance masterpiece into my own style. My work is heavily influenced by Japanese art, both traditional and contemporary, and when I first began working I struggled to find a path that felt comfortable yet challenging enough.
In order to find a way forward I decided to leave the Roman mythology of the love and fertility goddess Venus (Aphrodite in Greece), and instead find a way by studying the planet that carries her name. After all, the heavenly bodies is something all humans and cultures share. I found some interesting things.
In Japanese mythology and history, Venus is one of the 9 Luminaries. She is associated with the weekday Friday and the element metal. Metal attracts dew which rise into water (and in traditional Japanese Shunga, water is often used to symbolize female sexuality). Back in 1st and 2nd century China, Venus was portrayed as a beautiful woman dressed in white robes and playing a lute. Venus is also associated with the Japanese Bodhisattva Seishi (who bestows the strength of wisdom in humans) and the Buddha Amida (Buddha of infinite light and life).
One of the first things I decided to change in my version was the giant sea shell Botticelli’s Venus is standing in. I chose the more curved and irregular conch shell instead, mainly because the opening slit reminds me of a vagina. I made it clear to the viewer by painting it like I imagined it. The water is blood red to symbolize female strength and the sky filled with a myriad of golden stars reminding the viewer of the vastness of the universe and that we are all connected to everything in it. The painting also shows both morning and night as Venus is referred to as the Morning Star as well as the Evening Star.
The Romans called it Lucifer (latin for light bringer) in the morning and Vesper (latin for evening) at night.