Japanese Modernism

During the first half of the twentieth century Japan’s traditional art and aesthetics interacted with European life and culture, resulting in a pulsating era of Japanese modernism and the creation of Asian Art Deco architecture, paintings, prints, design and fashion. From the early 1920s until the late 1930s Japan developed a lively consumer culture and felt the influence of new technologies from abroad. Its cities underwent major redevelopment and featured bustling streets filled with department stores, cafés, teahouses, movie theatres, ballroom dance halls and modern transportation that catered to a new generation of urban pleasure seekers.

The exhibition investigates the increasing socially liberated status of Asian woman with the inclusion of major works by young female artists of the era and features rare large-scale paintings by young Japanese artists and modernist colour prints produced with the refined techniques of traditional ukiyo-e. The exhibition also features fashion of the era, including women’s and men’s kimonos and related accessories. Popular culture and interior design will be represented with beautifully crafted glassware, lacquer ware and bronze ware, as well as street posters, magazines and graphic design.

This exhibition is the result of a focused collecting strategy to build the NGV’s holdings of visually inspiring art and design from this fascinating and little recognised era of Asian art.

Free entry

NGV International

Level 1, Asian Art temporary exhibitions

28 Feb 20 – 4 Oct 20

Open 10am–5pm daily

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