Artist Toko Shinoda (b. 1913), known for her distinctive abstract expression in sumi ink, started out as a calligrapher but gradually moved beyond the field of calligraphy to expand her activity in Japan and overseas as an abstract artist. This exhibition focuses on Toko as calligrapher, introducing the “One Hundred Man’yo Poems” series she produced in 2000–2003. This series consists of the 100 waka poems she chose from the Man’yoshu, Japan’s oldest anthology of poems, and wrote in calligraphy. From among the 100 poems the exhibition displays 21 verses about autumn. The exhibition features the pleasure of Toko Shinoda’s calligraphy, rooted in convention but having moved far beyond it.
The exhibition also shows her abstract paintings in sumi, presenting a lyrical world that conjures up the wind, light, and sound that carry signs of change from autumn to winter. The abstract paintings and Man’yo poem works, both the product of Toko’s brush, resonate with each other in a rich symphony of art.