This presentation focuses on paintings, woodcuts and picnic utensils from the 17th to 19th centuries. The depictions range from blossoming cherry trees and picnic scenes to the portrayal of courtesans and warriors (Eros and Thanatos) under the flowering splendour, with individual colour woodcuts extending into the early 20th century.
The blossoming of the cherry trees, which usually wanders from the southern to the northern tip of the elongated Japanese archipelago between mid-March and late May, is a frequently rendered event with a wide range of interpretations in literature, poetry and the visual and performing arts. Accompanied enthusiastically in the media and by the public, the periodic return of spring and the renewal of the natural order are celebrated more or less communally every year in Japan, and increasingly around the world. Excursions, picnics and gatherings are undertaken to admire the trees and their nightly illumination while enjoying socialising, poetry, dance and song.
The awareness of the bloom’s short duration, however, resonates with a subtle sense of the transience and vulnerability of beauty, as well as of the finiteness of human life. These ambivalent connotations have been adopted in Japan since the 19th century in the service of representing the Japanese nation and during the first half of the 20th century as a means of heroising the military.
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Sun 10:00 - 20:00
Mon 10:00 - 20:00
Wed 10:00 - 20:00
Thu 10:00 - 20:00
Fri 10:00 - 22:00
Sat 10:00 - 22:00
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