Exhibition Title: Kabuki 歌舞伎 – The 19th Century Japanese Ukiyo-e
Duration: from 29 February to 19 April 2020
Location: Art Museum RIGA BOURSE, Riga, Latvia
From 29 February to 19 April 2020, the exhibition Kabuki 歌舞伎 – The 19th Century Japanese Ukiyo-e will be held at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE in Riga (Doma laukums 6), featuring the actors of kabuki theatre in coloured woodblock prints or ukiyo-e from Japan’s Edo period. The works are from the collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art.
There are about 380 exhibits in the collection of Japanese graphics at the Latvian National Museum of Art, with the largest number being ukiyo-e – a genre of graphics, which can be literally translated as the “pictures of the floating world”. Ukiyo-e masters mainly portrayed kabuki theatre actors, beautiful women, sumo wrestlers, warriors, scenes from history and folk tales, travelling scenes, landscapes, nature and animals, as well as works of erotic nature. In this way, they revealed the energy-filled popular culture of the Edo period, which flourished in the largest Japanese cities. The works in the museum collection mostly relate to the kabuki theatre theme.
The works of three productive and commercially successful artists from the 19th century can be seen at the exhibition – Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞, 1786–1865), who was also one of the leading trendsetters in his field, Kunisada’s student and active portrayer of kabuki actors, Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周, 1835–1900) and Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳, 1797–1861), one of the last great Japanese ukiyo-e masters.