Hasegawa Tohaku’s Pine Trees — Minimalism and Art in Warring States Japan

Pine Trees by Hasegawa Tohaku (c.1595) — left screen

Minimalist art is nothing new. Traditional Japanese art has its share of artworks where the creator sought beauty in simplicity. The two screen paintings called ‘Pine Trees’ by Hasegawa Tohaku (1539–1610) constitute an outstanding example of early modern minimalist art and were named a National Treasure of Japan. The history of Japanese aesthetics reveals great…