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Collection

An image of Elegance by SAKURAI Sadao

SAKURAI Sadao

(Japan 1951 – )

Title
Elegance
Alternative title:
Miyabi
Place of origin
Japan
Period
Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
Year
1990
Media category
Print
Materials used
etching
Edition
A.P.
Dimensions

60.6 x 42.4 cm image; 69.5 x 50.0 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed l.r., pencil "Sakurai". Not dated.
Credit
Gift of the artist 1993
Accession number
456.1993
Copyright
© SAKURAI Sadao
Location
Not on display
Further information

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.

Bibliography (1)

Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 85, 83 (colour illus.), 88. cat. no. 51

Exhibition history (1)

The Urban Bonsai: