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  • Jane Messenger

PUBLICATION AUTHOR: Japanese Prints - Images from the Floating World

Author: Jane Messenger

The ukiyo-e (floating world pictures) print tradition flourished in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867). It was a style of popular art that reflected the spirit and philosophy of a new urban culture, which sought to embrace life more fully and celebrate the present. Beauty and pleasure were valued above all because they belonged to the passing moment. Beautiful women and celebrity actors joined the motifs of the seasons as the most celebrated symbols of transient delight. It is this realm of popular entertainment, fantasy and desire that is portrayed through Japanese prints: Images from the floating world.

 

The exhibition catalogue illustrates the wood block prints from the Brian and Barbara Crisp Collection of Japanese ukiyo-e prints, and also a number of twentieth century prints. The majority of these are from the shin-hanga (new print) movement (c.1915-30s) which revived the style, technique and subject of the ukiyo-e prints within the context of modern Japan. It provides the necessary historical background on Japanese art as well as an insightful analysis of the prints themselves.The ukiyo-e (floating world pictures) print tradition flourished in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867). It was a style of popular art that reflected the spirit and philosophy of a new urban culture, which sought to embrace life more fully and celebrate the present. Beauty and pleasure were valued above all because they belonged to the passing moment. Beautiful women and celebrity actors joined the motifs of the seasons as the most celebrated symbols of transient delight. It is this realm of popular entertainment, fantasy and desire that is portrayed through Japanese prints: Images from the floating world.

 

The exhibition catalogue illustrates the wood block prints from the Brian and Barbara Crisp Collection of Japanese ukiyo-e prints, and also a number of twentieth century prints. The majority of these are from the shin-hanga (new print) movement (c.1915-30s) which revived the style, technique and subject of the ukiyo-e prints within the context of modern Japan. It provides the necessary historical background on Japanese art as well as an insightful analysis of the prints themselves.

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