A delicately patterned lady’s comb, an intricate woodblock print, a vibrant floral kimono: these objects and others on display in Ancient Traditions, Modern Japan: Japanese Art During the 20th Century are contemporary, but they have their roots in centuries-old Japanese traditions. The exhibition, organized by Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery interns Marielle Epstein ’18, Gillian Holzer ’19, and Milena Carothers ’19, invites viewers to explore ways in which traditional Japanese art forms have been employed and adapted by artists working in the 20th century.
The 20th century was a period of rapid and significant changes in Japan, one marked by a push and pull between ancient traditions and contemporary, global influences. Ancient Traditions, Modern Japan explores the impact of such changes through the eyes of Japanese cultural producers. Featuring works in a variety of media, including prints, photographs, textiles, and sculpture, the exhibition provides a broad look at how 20th-century shifts in knowledge and perspectives manifested in material culture. The works on view offer a look at how these changes have been represented in urban and domestic spaces, in print, and on the body.
Ancient Traditions, Modern Japan, which runs from March 19 until March 31, is free and open to the public. For more information, including gallery hours and location, click here.