Yoshida Hiroshi. Cherry Blossoms and Mount Fuji
Museum für Asiatische Kunst
The colour woodcuts produced by the painter and printmaker Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950) between 1920 and 1946 did much to perpetuate the image of Japan as a place of timelessness and tradition. Following the example of the great woodblock printmakers Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), most of Yoshida Hiroshi's carefully constructed and sensitively coloured compositions show views of famous sites.
Often framed by seasonal or culturally loaded flowers and plants, they focus on landscapes of outstanding natural beauty or important monuments such as temples or fortified palaces that epitomise the singular geography and traditional culture of the nation. No reference is made to the advancing industrialisation and modern mass culture of Japan - or indeed to its contemporary ambitions for territorial expansion into China and Korea.
People appear as incidental figures only. Dressed in colourful traditional clothing (kimono), they reinforce the impression of a time-honoured national culture. The eighteen prints shown in the exhibition form part of a larger group of works by Yoshida Hiroshi acquired in 1939 - at a time when both Japan and Germany sought to propagate an essentialist, traditional image of the nation.
Lansstraße 8 / Arnimallee 25
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