23.07.2024 Tue
Toko Shinoda

Toko’s Lines


Number of items exhibited
July 1 (Mon.)–Sept. 13 (Fri.) 2024
2nd and 4th Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays
¥500, children through high school age free of charge.

About the Exhibition

Even before Toko Shinoda went to the United States in 1956 to 1958, she was working with abstract expression, pursuing the representation of lines by deconstructing ideographs and moving beyond characters as orthography. Her lines of sumi, built upon the calligraphic techniques and brushwork she had mastered, produce visual space expansiveness and depth even on a flat surface.
For Toko, working lines in sumi was like “concentration while cutting through space—one has to constantly keep one’s mind on the margins.” “Sumi is not suitable for painting. Sumi was made for orthography,” she said, saying she had to aim for “accumulations of the one-time movements that are writing.”
Toko’s lines—such as lines of sumi showing varied effects like blurring and feathering or sharp lines brushed as if slicing through a surface—can be described as lines that relate to time and space. Using the difficult-to-handle long-haired brush (chōhōfude), which Toko called a “brush without character,” and working with sumi that blithely goes beyond one’s intentions, she executed lines of countless variety over her more than 80-year career.
This exhibition focuses on Toko’s expression of lines.