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


Cherry blossom party



Sobashima Yasuhiro


1947 –

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    lithograph and woodcut
    56.0 x 76.0 cm sheet
    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Sobashima Yasuhiro

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Sobajima was born in Gifu, completed Graduate School at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, and now lives in Chiba Prefecture.

    For his subjects Sobajima draws on daily life, continuing a genre tradition that dates back centuries. In Japanese painting there has always been a specific category of paintings to do with the activities peculiar to each season. No activity is more famous than cherry blossom viewing ('hanami') in spring and Sobajima depicts a hedonistic group of picnickers having a good time and enjoying their boxed lunches and sake, under the falling petals. The subject of flower viewing has long held a important place in literature, dance and the fine arts.

    Sobajima depicts his revellers, two of whom have developed the jaws of cats, in the style of 'ukiyo-e', literally pictures of the floating world, a metaphor for the transient pleasures of the corporeal world. In adapting the 'ukiyo-e' style he shows the true lighthearted and frivolous nature of the Japanese. Sobajima's work recalls that of the great 'ukiyo-e' artist Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) who loved cats and often used them to caricature people and their foibles.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 88-89.

  • 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