… Ms. Shinoda worked primarily in sumi ink, a solid form of ink, made from soot pressed into sticks… “It is… necessary to finish one’s work very quickly. So the composition must be determined in my mind before I pick up the brush. Then, as they say, the painting just falls off the brush.”
… Ms. Shinoda shunned representation. “If I have a definite idea, why paint it?,” she asked in an interview with United Press International in 1980. “It’s already understood and accepted. A stand of bamboo is more beautiful than a painting could be. Mount Fuji is more striking than any possible imitation.”
(Margalit Fox, “Toko Shinoda Dies at 107; Fused Calligraphy With Abstract Expressionism,” NYTimes, 3-3-21)
The 1980 interview cited in this article says Ms. Shinoda’s paintings express “her sensations, her feelings about nature rather than nature itself.” Shinoda’s take on “representation” is imperceptive, but her feathery renderings distilled from the “serene” Japanese calligraphic tradition are elegant.
(c) 2021 JMN