shinto/ kodama/ shunga
Traditional Japanese art has a very close relationship with mountains, flowers, and animals. The indigenous religion Shinto also centres on nature and how to relate to it.
Kodama is also the Japanese name for a certain kind of tree spirit. This guardian of the forest has a long and deep history with the Japanese people, even if young people today have only encountered them through the visionary film “Princess Mononoke” by genius director and animator Hayao Miyazaki.
My Kodama is very distantly related to Miyazaki’s cute little spirits. There are very few visual representations of these forest spirits, and one has to instead look to words and writings. Stories of Kodama vary according to regions in Japan. Different historical eras of Japan also see them change in character and appearance.
One old story tells of a Kodama assuming the shape of a human because of love, and this is the idea I decided to pursue in this painting. I had the urge to capture her just as she was transforming.
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.
Senju’s art is rooted deeply in traditional Japanese art, especially the erotic and sensual world of Shunga.