(Japan 1951– )
60.6 x 42.4cm image; 69.5 x 50.0cm sheet
Dolls still play an integral role in Japanese society. Apart from appearing annually in homes all over Japan for the Doll Festival ('Hina Matsuri') for girls on the 3rd March (see acc.no. 430.1993) and the Boy's Festival ('Tango no Sekku') on the 5th May, dolls are also made as artistic expressions of unique regional styles. Hence much lavish care is expended on dolls and their costumes, so they can be admired and enjoyed visually.
In this print Sakurai has used a photograph of a doll representing a girl, and has depicted her fully clothed in a beautiful traditional kimono decorated with wheels, water motifs and cherry blossoms (a symbol of spring). He has further refined this image by placing a veil of stylised wave decoration across the whole surface, and titling the work 'ga' which means elegance, artistry or taste. There is a hint of the fetish in the fastidious care applied to this image. By applying modern techniques to classic subjects, he uses his print as an affirmation of the continuity of traditional Japanese customs, textiles and design.
Sakurai was born in Wakayama Prefecture, and now lives in Kyoto, the traditional cultural centre of Japan and a city whose conservative values would be more in tune with the artist's own promotion of traditions.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 85, 88.
Jackie Menzies (Australia) (Author), Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 85, 83 (colour illus.), 88. cat. no. 51
The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, The Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Moree Plains Gallery, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995.