Asian Arts
19 June 2020


TANI BUNCHO (1763-1840)


Ink on paper, inscribed, with a cyclical date equivalent to 1838, and with one seal, center right, mounted as a hanging scroll, Japanese wood roller-case and two Japanese wood boxes.

H: 130 1/2, W: 55 3/4 in.


Property from the Collection of Betty Borman, Los Angeles.
Estimate $3,000-4,000

Tani Buncho was one of the most influential literati artists in late Edo Japan. Highly successful and with a large number of students, Buncho's works are varied in style. In the present Waterfall painting, Buncho, with a simplicity of brushstroke and manipulation of the void as an important part of the composition, abstracts the cascading waters in a way modern eyes can immediately relate to. The large scale and concentration of ink to the outer edges offers a profound experience to the viewer, drawing them in, but serving to call attention to the latent energy within what might seem at first to be emptiness. To this end, the present work may be seen in the light of Zenga, Zen paintings, where limited, energetic strokes of the brush capture on paper the ephemeral as a guide or inspiration to the absolute.