Cherry Blossoms

No.13 by Hiroko Otake

The 13th room, “Cherry blossoms”, was the motif chosen by the Japanese artist Hiroko Otake who began it on 16th December 2014, and completed it on 16th January 2015.
Ms. Otake says: “Japanese people took art into their everyday life with sliding doors and folding screens, from a long time ago”. I decorated a guest room by painting a cherry tree, so that the corners of the room were like the folds of a folding screen. As soon as you enter the room, you see a big cherry tree covering the bed. By drawing cherry blossoms like butterflies which are a symbol of transiency or the soul, I expressed the beauty of the end of life. As it flies around the room, a butterfly expresses the cycle of the four seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter. And I did the gay golden clouds beyond the cherry tree with about 400 gold leaves carefully affixed one by one. When you stretch out on the bed, butterflies in the shape of cherry blossoms will dance all around you. But outside the window, you will see an urban landscape against the scenic backdrop of Tokyo Tower. This contrast reminds us that all things are transient. I hope you enjoy the Japanese sense of beauty in the artist’s room “Cherry blossoms”, with its falling cherry blossoms.

Room #3106  |  Completion Date: January 2015

Artist's Message

Cherry blossoms –circulation –

Japanese people accept that their physical being is only transient, yet see beauty in this transient nature, and weep for it. The cherry tree, which is especially beautiful when its blossoms fall, reflects the aesthetic sense unique to Japan, and continues to be loved by its people.
This image, in which I took blossoms and butterflies as my motif, expresses the unstoppable passage of time, uncertainty, and the fact that we remain the same while the world around us changes incessantly.
In this room, I painted cherry blossoms using the butterfly which is a symbol of transient nature or the soul. The butterfly represents a cycle, such as that of the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter – and human birth and death, as it flutters around the room.
I hope that this work with its cherry blossoms and gold foil, which has been used for wall paintings in Japan since ancient times, will give you a sense of brightness and the uniquely Japanese aesthetic awareness of transient nature.

Hiroko Otake

“Infinite Time and Space Amid Cognizant Japanese Beauty”

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