The Dragon Sings, The Tiger Roars
Nukina Kaioku, Japanese, 1778 - 1863
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The painter and calligrapher Nukina Kaioku was a leading Confucian scholar in Kyoto, Japan. Here he uses his favorite calligraphic style, the semi-cursive, for the kanji (Chinese characters) appearing on each panel of this screen: "dragon sings" on the right and "tiger roars" on the left. The characters for tiger and dragon stand in for the usual physical depictions of the beasts, which are commonly paired on East Asian screens. Kaioku also adds a sense of sound to the visual play by adding the characters for "roar" and "sing," inviting the viewer to participate in the creative process by supplying his own visual and audial images for the two creatures.