WARAI: Humor in Japanese Art from Prehistory to the 19th Century

The Japan Cultural Institute in Paris (Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris) celebrates the 15th year of its founding with WARAI: Humor in Japanese Art from Prehistory to the 19th Century. The exhibition is a reworking of The Smile in Japanese Art, which attracted more than 300,000 visitors to the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2007.

Three quarters of the display are selected especially for the event in France and include many new finds that have never been shown in Japan. The exhibition presents humorous themes in Japanese art from the Jomon period (ca. 12,000 BC–500 BC) up to the final years of the Edo period, called Bakumatsu (1853–1867), and the subsequent Meiji period (1868–1912) through roughly 100 works including relics like dogu and haniwa clay figurines, otogisoshi short narratives illustrated with simple pictures, otsu-e and ukiyo-e folk art, Zen paintings, and wooden statues of the Buddha by sculptors Enku and Mokujiki.

While the reception of Japanese culture overseas tends to focus on stereotypes ranging from the spirituality of Zen to popular media like manga, the unique showcase for “smiles” in classical Japanese art promises to offer new discoveries in the art and culture of Japan.

Outline

Date October 3 to December 15, 2012
Venue Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris (Exhibition hall)
Organizer The Japan Foundation, Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris, Association pour la Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris
Planning and cooperation Mori Art Museum
Cooperation JAPAN AIRLINES
Curator Mami Hirose, Senior consultant, Mori Art Museum
Advisor Yuji Yamashita, Professor, Meij Ggakuin University

This is a part of the commemorative project to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Japan Foundation's establishment.

Photo of Pandemonium Screens / Kawanabe Kyosai / Fukutomi Taro Collection Reference
Pandemonium Screens / Kawanabe Kyosai / Fukutomi Taro Collection Reference

Photo of Pandemonium Screens / Kawanabe Kyosai / Fukutomi Taro Collection Reference
Pandemonium Screens / Kawanabe Kyosai / Fukutomi Taro Collection Reference

Photo of Haniwa:Man Holding a Shield
Haniwa:Man Holding a Shield
Excavated from Maenoyama Kofun,Saitama
Honjo-city Board of Education

Photo of Tamatsushima Daimyojin
Tamatsushima Daimyojin
Mokujiki
Kawai Kanjiro's House

Photo of Mind of Fish
Mind of Fish
Utagawa kuninyoshi

[Contact Us]

Europe, Middle East and Africa Section, Arts and Culture Dept.,
The Japan Foundation
Yotsuya 4-4-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004

Tel: 03-5369-6063Fax: 03-5369-6038

Contact for Public Relations

TAIRAMASAKO PRESS OFFICE
Masako Taira
Tel: 090-1149-1111 E-mail

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