The Open Door in the Middle of the Night
Yasuda Hanpo (1889 –1947)
Item number: T-3416
Size: H 71.5" x W 26.2" (181.5 x 66.5 cm)
Era: Taisho era (1912-1926)
Ink on silk
The painting shows us a Chinese city deep in night, with a full moon and outlines of several two-storied buildings by water. Ink lines and ink wash are expertly used to convey a sense of dreamy silence and a darkness that is defined only by moonlight. One balcony door is open, revealing a figure that looks out at the viewer, with a mysterious smile. The reason for the smile is left to our imagination, as the title gives us no clue. Whether this smile is in anticipation of a clandestine tryst, or whether the person is delighting in the moonlit scenery, is up to the viewer to decide.