October 19 - November 1, 2007
Gallery & Web Exhibition
Japanese painters have been curiously bewitched by an especially chilling species of ghost. Representations of these beings comprise one focus for the present exhibition, Haunting Images. The paintings usually portray a single female figure of ghastly mien and demeanor. Their skeletal or will-o’-the-wisp bodies are hidden beneath ethereal garb but their disturbing visages are clearly and shockingly portrayed reflecting profound senses of dread and doom, of hatred and jealousy, of loss and misery. Ghosts of females spurned in love and grief-stricken at the time of death and the tragic victims of murder or suicide are among those who haunt the living and may be identifiable through specific attributes related to their suffering. A mélange of demons and imps in the form of fantastical monstrosities are honored in a portrait handscroll of the supernatural by an anonymous 19th-century painter. A bit of humor is often present in the depiction of these characters and the demon-queller, Shokei (Zhong Kui in Chinese), who is our champion exorcist against these rank beings, is among the subjects of the present exhibition. Chinese works of art supporting the theme are also on view in the Gallery, completing this Halloween treat we have prepared for our friends.