Oh summer how you punish us so. We managed to finally drag ourselves out of the house for this exhibit after putting it off week after week. Good thing we found time last week. I had been too excited to see this since I passed by a poster during one my jogging sessions. Although I was a little bit disappointed as I was expecting to see landscape Ukiyo-e paintings like the Great Wave of Kanagawa. The focus though is not just to showcase Japanese art but also its social relevance in our current times.
As brief background, Ukiyoe portraits and paintings became prominent in the 17th-19th century. They are made and replicated using woodblocks. The literal translation being pictures of the floating world. The art reflects the hedonistic lifestyle that flourished in Japan after the birth of the Shogun era (military dictatorship). The art often depicts the "popular culture" in those times, portraits of kabuki actors, artisans, geisha, images of Yoshiwara (pleasure district) and Edo period landscape.
"By illustrating the showy and fragile nature of human visuality and performativity in Edo period Japan, we would like to link this with the current globalized mania for personal fame and outrageous display that were prefigured by this uniquely Japanese urban popular culture."
The exhibit is organized by Japan Foundation Manila and the Asian Center UP Diliman. In case you want to see the portraits they are on display at Japan Hall, GT Toyota, Asian Center until May 15, 2015. Entrance is free. ( ^_^)v
Tama River at Koya - Shuman Kubo
Takigawa of the Ogi-ya by Utamaro Kitagawa
Okita of Naniwaya from the series "Six Famous Beauties" by Utamaro Kitagawa
Ichikawa Ebizo by Sharaku Toshusai
Otani Oniji as the Servant Edobei by Sharaku Toshusai
Picking Plum Blossoms from Neighbor's Garden by Harunobu Suzuki
Segawa of Matsubaya by Kiyonaga Torii
The courtlady Ono no Komachi by Kiyonaga Torii
From the series "Bijin Kaichu Kagami" by Eisen Keisai
After our little #artventure, we dropped by Cool Beans Cafe in Maginhawa. What better way to cap off an artsy day but with a good book, a cold Vanilla chocolate drink and a warm cozy sofa. ;)
Photos © by Donna and Raphael Louis Reyes