Roosters over Fuji
Contemporary Japanese Art Prints

26 January 2024 — 5 May 2024
  • Contemporary Japanese Art Prints

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presented Roosters over Fuji, a showcase of contemporary Japanese art prints

  • Works of 11 renowned Japanese artists
  • A cross between the Eastern traditions of meditative contemplation and Western printmaking techniques
  • A face-to-face encounter with the enigmatic Japanese culture

Contemporary Japan is a country of tradition and innovation, a standout part of the Western world that is ‘more oriental than the Orient.’

Japan was discovered by the world as a country of original and refined culture as early as the 19th century thanks to its tradition of ukiyo-e long grain woodblock prints. The most prominent masters of ukiyo-e, Hiroshige (1797–1858) and Hokusai (1760–1849), lived long and eventful lives, turning their experiences into art. The holy Mount Fuji, one of the most sacred places and the source of national pride, features heavily in their oeuvre.

In the present-day Japan, art prints continue to be an important part of artistic expression, while Mount Fuji still provides unbounded inspiration.

The exhibition at Erarta features the works of 11 Japanese graphic artists created over the past four decades and spanning a wide range of genres and styles: symbolism, contemplative abstraction, prints illustrating the national literary classics, surrealism, everyday scenes, and hyperrealism. Most of their creators are established masters who have already passed, or are nearing, the 70-year mark. However, the selection includes a number of younger printmakers.

The ironically self-styled ‘Printsaurus’ group brings together members of the post-WWII generation of artists. Those who preserve and uphold the labour-consuming traditional practice of fine art printmaking without resorting to computer-assisted techniques, however little in numbers, continue the highly rewarding creative dialogue between the transient and the perpetual, East and West, tradition and modernity.

The pieces showcased in the exhibition represent a rich variety of media: woodblock printing (Seiko Kawachi), mezzotint (Katsunori Hamanishi, Hiroaki Miyayama, Masataka Kuroyanagi), lithograph (Harumi Sonoyama, Akito Tanimura, Mihoko Sekiguchi), serigraphy (Toshiko Hishida), and various combined techniques (Takeshi Saito, Sanae Yamamoto, Norimasa Mizutani).

This is the first time that a comprehensive collection of contemporary Japanese art prints is presented to the St. Petersburg public. The creations of these artists have been exhibited in many countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas and received multiple international awards.

This exhibition has been staged in collaboration with the independent curator Andrey Martynov.

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