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KURENBOH, a part of the Chohouin Buddhist Temple of Kuramae, Tokyo, is what we have called a "Meditation Gallery." In it, we have sought to create a meeting place for modern culture and Japanese Buddhism. The gallery (a non-profit, non-commercial entity) opened on September 11th, 2006, and is a set of three small rooms created by the architect Makoto Yokomizo. It is based on the traditional scheme of the Chashitsu, or Tea Ceremony-Room, accommodates only two or three people at a time, and is of a minimalist but elegant design characterized by whiteness, purity and silence. In this unusual space, all architectural corners are rounded, distances become indistinct, and works of art appear with exceptional vividness. The gallery aims to calm the mind of the visitor, to enable him or her to concentrate entirely on the art at hand, to wander mentally within the universe of the artist, and through this, to have a little of the kind of transcendent experience that, following another path, people have sought to reach through the disciplines of Buddhist meditative practice.

Only a few works of art will be exhibited at Kurenboh at any time. Most will be drawn from the collection of 20th and 21st century photography of Akyoshi Taniguchi, but we intend to present one or two solo shows each year, from time to time inviting particular artists to produce new work with Kurenboh's unique setting specifically in mind. The first Kurenboh exhibition (September, 2006 to March, 2007) includes work by Adam Fuss, Daido Moriyama, Wolfgang Tillmans, Naoya Hatakeyama,Hiroshi Sugimoto and Yuki Onodera. Mr. Hatakeyama's one-man exhibition "A Bird" was on view from April 4th to May 17th.

The gallery's name, Kurenboh, is composed of three Japanese characters: KU means Nothingness or Emptiness, one of the essential concepts in Buddhist thought; REN means Lotus, which in Buddhist imagery represents the flourishing of the beautiful out of muck and dirt, the emergence of the pure and perfect out of the troubled, human world; BOH means study room. It is our hope that Kurenboh will be a place in which Buddhism, an ancient system of thought, inhales the air of modernity, and in which - at the same time - the Buddhist point-of-view applies itself to modern works of art, helping viewers to search them for new meanings.

Kurenboh welcomes visitors from around the world, by appointment.

- Director/Jushoku Rev. Akiyoshi Taniguchi

 

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