Gold Cloud

Poutuguese Merchants and Trading Vessels/ Early 17th century/ Namban paper screen

Gold cloud is probably not familiar to neither Western nor Eastern people unless they are Japanese.  Gold cloud appears in ancient paintings of Japan which sometimes depicts people’s life, a plan of capital city, or a landscape.  Apparently, painting gold cloud is one of the painting techniques which divides into sections, hides things, or creates an obscure looks of the world.  Wherever gold cloud appears, it always fascinates me and makes me consider the things mortal, uncertain, or transient, even though nobody refers to the meaning of gold cloud.  So honestly, there is no certain reason behind it but probably, to me, because those paintings always depict past world, and our ancestors recorded where they lived and what happened at that era.  If there was no gold cloud on past paintings, I would not be impressed by those paintings as actually I am.  Gold cloud which always occupies nearly half of whole painting is very mysterious and strange.  This let me think the world we are living now is the same as the gold cloud itself and the same as the one where our ancestors lived.  I wonder how mortal human activity is, how uncertain human life is, and how transient the world is… and  even if something is decayed, another will arise.  This is endless like cloud rises.


Koichi Kageyama. “Kinun ni kagayaku meiga no nazo wo yomu”. artscape. 15 July 2009. web. 25 May 2012.

One thought on “Gold Cloud

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