An important selection of 80 color Japanese prints is presented at an exhibition hosted by the National Museum of Arts of Moldova. The Museum’s entire collection includes about 200 works. Color woodblock printing is the most popular genre of Ukiyo-e art – pictures of the floating world – that flourished in Japan between the 17th and 19th centuries, presenting the customs and culture of the new city, and reached maturity in Edo, modern Tokyo, IPN reports.
The exhibition titled “Ukiyo-e Masters, from Edo period to Meiji period” was mounted by the National Museum of Arts, the Embassy of Japan in Chisinau and the Japan Foundation. The exhibited prints represent the main themes of the Edo period, between 1830 and 1860, and also themes of the great political, social and artistic changes that took place in Japan together with the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and consistently in the Meiji period (1868-1912).
In the inaugural event, the Museum’s director Tudor Zbârnea said the exhibitions of Japanese prints are staged once in three years on different themes, but they are not so extensive as the current event. The Japanese print is the splendid art, chromatic finesse and refinement that only the Japanese people could attain.
Japan’s Ambassador to Moldova Masanobu Yoshii said Ukiyo-e is an art that conquers the lovers of beauty, while its unique colors and compositions are very appreciated from esthetic viewpoint. Ukiyo-e is known all over the world and had a big influence on painting and craftsmen in Europe at the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century. “I’m convinced that by this exhibition, we will offer the Moldovan citizens the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Ukiyo-e and to enrich their knowledge of the traditional Japanese art and culture. The interest in Japan will grow and this will further strengthen and develop the relations of friendship between our counties,” stated the ambassador.
“I once again ascertain that we are very rich here, in Moldova. We are rich through these works of art, including of Japan. We are rich through the friends we have, including abroad. We are rich through the people who have here, in Moldova,” stated Minister of Education, Culture and Research Corneliu Popovici.
The prints were studied and classified with the assistance of scientific collaborator, Professor Rossella Menegazzo of the Department of Cultural and Environmental Heritage of the University of Milan, with support from the Embassy of Japan in Moldova and under the aegis of the Japan Foundation. Rossella Menegazzo said the exhibition was divided into sections. Each of the sections presents the works in chronological order. The sections are: “Landscapes and Famous Places” (meisho-e)”, “Beautiful Women” (bijin-ga), Actors of the Kabuki Theater (yakusha-e)” and “History, Heroes and Legends”.
The exhibition will continue until March 15. On January 17, there will be staged a seminar about Ukiyo-e, moderated by Professor Rossella Menegazzo.