Taisho Chic

Mention Japanese art and most people immediately think of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. They’re not bad, they’re just, well, the obvious choice. It’s a choice on a par with the laziness of journalists who consistently describe anything to do with Japan as ‘zen’ (ah yes, Tokyo, so zen). But a new exhibition of Japanese art that just opened in Sydney seems to present some (gorgeous) Japanese art not often seen in Australia. I say ‘seems to’ as I sadly didn’t make it to the exhibition last weekend – too busy falling asleep at the SWF.

Taisho Chic combines paintings, prints, textiles and pretty things that range from 1912 to 1930 and show elements of art deco, art nouveau and the influence of Western culture on traditional Japanese art. No ‘geeshas’ or stylised waves in sight, so Sydneysiders and those in town, get thee to the Art Gallery of NSW. I’m frantically trying to find an excuse to get myself back to Sydney before the exhibition finishes in August – an urgent need for Reschs pilsner? Important research into the Maltese Cafe’s pasticci?

Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery Road
The Domain, Sydney

:: Arwen ::



Filed under Exhibitions

5 responses to “Taisho Chic

  1. Simon T

    Would be interesting to compare the images in this exhibition with stuff from this era:


    I think I can see some similarity.

  2. Absolutely! Wish there was an exhibition of this somewhere in Melbs.

    These posters also remind me of the girls’ toilets at Wabi Sabi Salon on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy – they have similar posters stuck on the walls in a kind of collage. Their website (www.wabisabisalon.com.au) appears to be down but there’s a description here:


  3. Simon T

    Hummm…I’ll have to go to the girls’ toilets to have a look-see! 🙂

  4. Simon T

    Not quite the same thing, Arwen, but you might also be interested in this exhibition in Melbourne:


  5. This looks good too. It covers the Edo and Meiji periods of Japanese history, which is the ‘classic’ period – what I reckon we all think of when we think of Kyoto and old Japan.

    Reminds me of going to the Edo Tokyo Museum ages ago in Ryogoku, Tokyo. It was so daggy but they’d tried so hard…


    The really fun website tells you:

    “Besides, special exhibitions and lectures are regularly held, and there are also the Audio-Visual Hall, the Audio Visual Library, a library and other facilities that make this a particular museum where visitors can learn while having fun at the same time.”

    Aaah, I love it.

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