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Taishô chic
Japanese modernity, nostalgia and deco

(left) Kobayakawa Kiyoshi Tipsy 1930, Honolulu Academy of Arts, gift of Philip H Roach Jr 2001 (right) Nakamura Daizaburô Woman 1930, Honolulu Academy of Arts, purchased with Marjorie Lewis Griffing and Beatrice Watson Parrent Funds, and the Estate of Selden Washington, 1994

Japan in the early 20th century was a place of great change. The essential question of the day was: how could one be both Japanese and modern at the same time when modernity was defined as Western?

Nowhere was this more evident than in the arts of the Greater Taisho period (1910-1930), particularly in the image of women. On one hand, there was the liberated, self-confident, fun-loving ‘modern girl’, who dressed in Western fashion and decorated her home in Western style; on the other, the ‘good wife’ and ‘wise mother’, who epitomised traditional Japanese femininity.

The balance between modernity and nostalgia – the clash and the embrace – is captured in this exhibition of paintings, prints, textiles and decorative arts from the period, ranging from prints of cooly sophisticated young women to bold kimonos with abstract patterns that reinterpreted traditional motifs and sleek glassware that represented the latest in art deco chic.

Organised by the Honolulu Academy of Arts, this exhibition has been made possible by support from the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

22 May – 3 Aug 2008

$8.00 adult
$5.00 concession
$5.00 member
$22.00 family (2 adults + up to 3 children)
$5.00 student in booked school group

Upper Asian gallery