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[59] - 2008/04/15 (19:52)

The Chicago Shimpo
Volume 5708 (24) THE CHICAGO JAPANESE AMERICAN NEWS Friday, April 11, 2008
The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito 伊藤真乗シカゴ展 会場構成記事掲載


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The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito One Man’s Buddhist Vision
By Goran Lukic and Hiromi Fujiwara

The Chicago Illuminating Company is holding an exhibition of the works of Shinjo Ito, the founder of Shinnyo-en Buddhism through the month of April. Located in the South Loop, the Chicago Illuminating Company near McCormick Place, it offers an excellent opportunity to view the symbolism within Buddhism and experience a fluidness of form and space that highlights.
At the opening night of the event (other events are listed below), more than200 people walked a gentlemaze of white, see-through partitions that allowed one to see many pieces and many people at once. Designed by the architect Shoji Oshio, the gallery space was a wonderful example of "how in a simple relationship with each Buddhist image, there, but also involved in a kind of whole environment," states Oshio.
Put more simply, attendees come to view the pieces and the divinity that they represent, but through these pieces, the goal is for the visitors to then recognize the divinity of the other attendees.

See page 23, Shinjo Ito

Friday, April 11, 2008
"Through this exhibition, I would like to show not only the whole world of Shinjo as a religionist and a Buddhist sculptor, clearly, but also the Buddhism world itself as the expression of space," explains Oshio.
Rather than the pieces themselves, what was striking to viewers was the dedication of the Ito sculptor to create or externalize his vision of Buddhism. Born in 1906 in Yamanashi prefecture, Ito’s father died when Ito was a mere 15 years old. For the next 15 years, Ito would variously enter the military and pursue a career in photography.
But in 1936, after encountering an Achalanatha(also known as " The Immovable Buddha "), Ito chose to enter Daigoji Temple. Though the connection is not explicitly stated at the exhibition, one wonders invocation of Achalanatha; ‘by our own wills and vigilance, may we our fetters cut away’ lead to an epiphany for Ito.
There was a noticeable lack of explanatory plaques next to the pieces. The viewers would have liked to have had more background information on the pieces themselves.
But though more background would have been appreciated, by not offering explanations, the exhibitors forced the attendees were forced to come to terms with the pieces themselves. "How do I feel about this piece?" "Does the expression of peace on this statue match the peace that I feel in my heart?" In the spirit of the Achalanatha prescription, visitors can only answer these questions for him or herself. The Shinjo Ito exhibit is certainly worth a visit before it leaves for Los Angeles on May 2nd .
Shinjo Ito Events at the Chicago Illuminating Company
Wednesday, April 165:30 pm. 7:30 pm
The Vision and Art of Shinjo
Ito Information Center Hosts the Interfaith Youth Core for a Different Kind of Conversation about Religion
Thursday, April 17 6:00. 8:00 pm
Jazz performance by Yoko Noge and Valerie Hines
Sunday, April 20 1:00. 4:00 pm Children's Day
Thursday, April 24 6:00. 8:00 pm Melt Your Heart, Free Your
Mind: The Yoga + Chocolate Experience

Goran Lukic is Manager, International Office of RSM McGladrey
Hiromi Fujiwara is Artist and Educator

The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito 伊藤真乗仏教アート展             

知られていない。海外で 100点もの作品が展示されるのは初めてのことで、真乗の誕生 100年を記念するもの。米国ではニューヨークを皮切りに、シカゴとロサンジェルスで開催される。



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