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Sakurai Sadao


1951 –

  • Details

    Alternative title
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    60.6 x 42.4 cm image; 69.5 x 50.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., pencil "Sakurai". Not dated.

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © SAKURAI Sadao

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Sakurai Sadao

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

  • 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