Eastern Echoes Exhibit
Featuring a Japanese Painter and a Spanish Goldgilder
by Etsu Inoue and Ana Diaz-Drew
Exhibit: July 1 – August 31, 2016
Opening Reception: July 9, 2016 | 2:30 – 4:30pm
Included with Garden admission
Free for Garden Members
Art Demonstration: August 13, 2016 | 12:00pm
By invitation / Included with Garden admission
Eastern Echoes is an exhibition based on the crossing of three cultures, meeting at the realization that development of art in human history can be universal with the very diverse use of the same natural materials. Gold, as a universal material, has been especially celebrated and used in art forms in countries such as China, Japan, and Spain. Artists of different origins, in this case Japanese and Spanish, bring their home techniques to Vancouver; by pairing them with the beauty of the use of gold in China, Etsu Essence Inoue and Ana Diaz-Drew have put together a contemporary show that is strongly rooted in this Chinese legacy.
When Ana Diaz-Drew first saw Etsu’s paintings, she was in awe. Gold is sometimes thought of as a dated art form and technique today but Etsu’s works are very modern and simultaneously classic – which is in part why works of these two artists complement each other. Ana’s works, in comparison, are smaller, focused on fine details and historical context, could be composited on any surface, often three-dimensional, and some even served as utilitarian objects in their past lives. Etsu’s, on the other hand, are larger in scale, with the charm of grandeur, using only the most natural material and tools, while maintaining a largely contemporary style. What connects the two is the shared passion in artmaking with gold and exploring the endless inspirations Chinese arts and culture have to provide.
The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is described as “gilt”.
The craft of gold leaf gilding in which leafs of gold are applied to objects for ornamentation, goes back over 4,000 years to Northern Africa where gold foil was applied to wood to give the appearance of being made of solid gold. The practice of gilding in the Middle East, whereby gold would be applied over other metals, has been traced to at least 3,000BC and continues to this day. Tomb paintings in Egypt as early as the VI Dynasty (around 2250BC) depict goldbeaters beating gold into foil, used in the decoration of furniture and coffins. Historical references indicate fire gilding of gold on copper in China by the fourth century BC. Still other applications include gilded statuary in fourth century BC Athens, gilded vessels of Tibet in the seventh century AD, and various gilding techniques and applications throughout South America, Peru, Spain, the Far East, Britain, and Europe.