Thursday, 28 August 2008

New David Burliuk painting found in Tokyo antiques market

This entry is a further sequel to my work with Akira Suzuki on the film "David Burliuk and the Japanese Avant-garde". At the end of last year and the beginning of this year we spent three months in Japan researching material for a film. While we were there we spent a great deal of time with Akira Suzuki who we interviewed in the film "David Burliuk and the Japanese Avant-garde". which is part of the series by Copernicus Films The Russian Avant-garde - Revolution or Renaissance. The reason being he lived only ten to fifteen minutes from where we had rented an apartment for the duration of our stay. One Sunday morning he invited us to an open air antiques market in the grounds of the Sinto, Tomioka-Hachmangu Temple. We bought several items which were of interest to me and my wife. Among the bric a brac were old paintings, statues, chinaware and assorted vases and antiques. A short while ago Akira Suzuki contacted me with some startling news. At the very same market he had acquired a genuine David Burliuk painting (see picture below)from the period of his two year stay in Japan. To find a new painting by Burliuk is a rare event in itself but for one to turn up at such a market, moreover the same market which we had visited with Akira Suzuki, was astonishing. As I have already written early Akira Suzuki is a specialist on the work of David Burliuk in Japan and I had invited him to be interviewed for the film "David Burliuk and the Japanese Avant" on my first trip to Japan.
Even though the painting is a bit damaged a good art restorer would be able to bring the painting back to something approachng its original condition. Its difficult to say what the location is but it is tempting to speculate that it is a scene from Ogasawara, an island in the pacific Ocean where Burliuk and Palmov stayed with their families in order to paint much in the manner of Guaguin who went to live on Tahiti to find new inspiration for his work. It certainly resembles the island but it could be Oshima which they also visited. Akira Suzuki is not sure himself. It would be good to find out one way or the other