Free Press Reporters Take a Blissful Step into ‘A Floating World’
Chazen Exhibit Displays Japanese Wood Block Art Through the Centuries
by Enjoyiana Nururdin, age 17
Recently, friend of the Free Press and valued volunteer, Jane Coleman, surprised a group of Free Press reporters with a field trip to the Japanese wood block exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art. The group of us—including Diamond, Dija, James, Christy, Felicia, Ruthanne, and our editors Taylor and Aarushi—met at the South Towne newsroom where Jane gave us a briefing. Jane explained that Dr. Gene Phillips, professor of Japanese Art, had generously agreed to take us into the “floating world.” He would be acting as a docent, or a volunteer guide, for us. Excited, we grabbed our freshly sharpened pencils, notepads, and camera. We piled into two cars and crossed the isthmus.
When we arrived at the Chazen Museum of Art, the first thing we noticed was the glass windows and the skeleton sculpture outside. There, we met Shoko Miyagi, another Free Press volunteer, and Dr. Gene Phillips, in the flesh. Dr. Phillips insisted we call him Gene.
Walking into the exhibit, the dim lights and cold air took us by surprise. Dr. Phillips explained why the environment resembled a haunted house. Because the water-based ink on the wood block came from plants or vegetables, he explained, the pigment changes over time with exposure to light. Therefore, it was best not to use a camera flash or increase the light and speed up the fading process. [Read More]