Aida Yuen Wong. Exhibition Review ‘Boundless Peaks: Ink Paintings by Minol Araki (1928–2010)’ at Minneapolis Institute of Art, 7 October 2017–24 June 2018
The exhibition ‘Boundless Peaks: Ink Paintings by Minol Araki (1928–2010)’, currently on view at Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), examines an artist whose cultural background and career path defy easy categorization. Beginning with his birth to Japanese parents in Manchuria and growing up there during World War II, Araki inhabited a zone of partial belonging most of his life. He first learned ink painting from a Chinese friend of his parents, and even after the family’s repatriation to Japan at the end of World War II and his training in industrial design soon afterward, he continued to nurture a passion for Chinese-style painting, which intensified after meeting the Chinese artist Zhang Daqian (1899–1982) in Taiwan in the 1970s. He became Zhang’s informal—and possibly only Japanese—disciple. For his design business, Minol (the anglicized rendering of Minoru) regularly visited Hong Kong and the United States, where he left artistic footprints as well.