Widely recognized as one of Japan’s most celebrated artists, Hiroshi Senju is renowned for his paintings of nature, waterfalls in particular. Senju is one of the few modern masters of the thousand-year-old Nihonga style of painting, which emphasizes traditional Japanese techniques. This method involves creating paint by grinding mineral pigments from stone, shell and corals, using an animal-hide binder, and working on hand screened Japanese mulberry paper, mounted on board. Brushes and bamboo are used for the creation of waterfalls, along with the technique of pouring the paint onto the surface of mulberry paper. The resulting images are firmly rooted in Japanese tradition, yet wholly modern with a clear link to abstract expressionism and action painting.
The Hiroshi Senju Museum opened in Karuizawa around four years ago, it was designed by Ryue Nishizawa, who won the Pritzker prize. The museum was opened by an educational foundation called Kokusai Bunka Foundation and it houses over 100 works by Senju spanning 30 years of work. This museum changes everything for Senju collectors, because they enjoy the security of knowing there is a major public institution involved in acquiring and protecting Hiroshi Senju's work and legacy.
At the root, there is appreciation for Senju as one of the few modern masters of the thousand-year-old Japanese Nihonga style of painting. His images have a firm foundation in Japanese tradition, yet are wholly modern with a clear link to abstract expressionism and action painting. This bridge of ancient and contemporary has sparked not just Japanese interest, but western collectors have also been captivated by the unique approach to painting. Most of our clients who have Senju own more than one piece, if that might give an indication of how gratifying it is to enjoy one. The piece you saw in Miami was exhibited in US Ambassador's Residence in Tokyo which of course adds to the value and historical significance.