We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Backgammon (1) Cleopatra



Baba Kashio


1927 – 1994

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Sugoroku shirîzu (1) Kureopatora
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Kashio Baba '89".

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Baba Kashio
    Artist information
    Baba Kashio

    Works in the collection


  • About

    The artist Baba delights in using the immediate appeal of simple lithographic colouring to sweeten his satirical observations of contemporary Japanese society and its insatiable consumerism.

    In this particular print Baba has organised his images into the squares of a board game: an ironic comment on the modern consumer society's version of a mandala, the Buddhist representation of an ideal universe. In Baba's mandala the icons of popular culture replace Buddhist deities in an unrelated montage of the funny and the fearful, the comic and the historic, East and West, past and present. All of these images have been absorbed into modern culture with no acknowledgement of their relative significance and cultural value, and no distinction between the ordinary and the extraordinary. Divorced from their original contexts, these images have been selected for the intensity of their emotive associations.

    Typical of Baba's work are the gaudy colours and the sideshow atmosphere that belie the seriousness of his concern about the direction and substance of modern novelty-hungry Japan.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 24-25.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Bank Art Museum Moree, Moree, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication