Elegance & Excellence:
Modern Women of Shin hanga
The subject of women has been linked to Japanese woodblock prints since the 17th century. Bijin (beauties) are a popular theme in 20th century printmaking, and have continuously captivated audiences and collectors worldwide. Elegance & Excellence: Modern Women of Shin hanga, explores the numerous artists in the Nihon no hanga collection that devoted prints to refine the ideal image of Japanese female beauty. This exhibition examines the ‘elegant’ and modern appearance of women in bijin hanga (beauty prints) of the shin hanga (new print) tradition, known for its accomplished and ‘excellent’ technique within Japanese woodblock printmaking
Over seventy iconic prints will be on display by, among others, Ishii Hakutei, Hashiguchi Goyō, Itō Shinsui, Kitano Tsunetomi, Yamakawa Shūhō, Torii Kotondo, Kobayakawa Kiyoshi, Hirano Hakuhō, Ishikawa Toraji, Taki Shūhō, and Shimura Tatsumi.
Japanese Winter Landscapes
Our latest exhibition will focus on wintery landscape prints of the 20th century. In Japan snow has been a source of inspiration in art and literature for centuries. Poetic scenes of snowy cityscapes and serene winter beauties have been a well-known part of the Japanese woodblock print tradition but were also a beloved theme in modern shin and sōsaku hanga.
However, living with vast amounts of snow in the remote ‘snow country’, or yukiguni, came with certain challenges. Printmakers from these areas have earnestly depicted daily life in this somewhat concealed part of Japan. When snow country became more accessible with the advent of modern transportation links its representation changed. Seeking out snow leisure became a fashionable pastime for urbanites, including prolific writers and prints artists.
The various aspects of snow surrounding the city, countryside, and its people take centre stage in Snow Country: Japanese Winter Landscapes, with over one hundred works from our collection.
Memories of Shōwa:
Impressions of Working Life by Wada Sanzō
Even if we do not know when we will be able to open up to the public, we have been working hard on our next exhibition: Memories of Shōwa: Impressions of Working Life by Wada Sanzō. This exhibition consists of the impressive series ‘Japanese vocations of the Shōwa era in pictures’ by Wada Sanzō (1883-1967) and will feature all three volumes. These prints offer nostalgic and modern images of everyday life in Japan during the late 1930s through to the early 1950s. Together with Wada’s written observations, this exhibition provides a deeply personal account of the continuously changing professions during this complex era of modern Japanese history.