Modern Japanese Woodcuts
Kyoto, beautiful women, and actors

26.01.2016 to 22.05.2016
Museum für Asiatische Kunst

Towards the end of the 19th century, photographs and modern printmaking techniques such as lithography had largely replaced traditional wood printmaking techniques in popular commercial art. However, in the field of fine arts, woodblock prints lived on into the 20th century. Prints from this period were either created on the Western model, with artists involved at each stage of the work process – starting with the design, through the cutting of blocks, to the printing itself – or, alternatively, in accordance with the traditional division of labour between specialist draughtsmen, cutters, and graphic designers, with a publisher supervising the overall project.

The exhibition features around twenty prints created according to this latter principle of specialized labour, from designs produced by such figures as Natori Shunsen (1886-1960), Miki Suizan (1887-1957) and Yoshikawa Kanpō (1894-1979) in the 1920s, and issued for the larger part by the Kyoto-based publisher Satō Shōtarō (biographical information unknown). The works explore the traditional themes of Japanese woodcuts, depicting notable places of interest, beautiful women, and actors from the Kabuki theatre.

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