Decoration and display in Japan 15th - 19th centuries
5 February – 13 April 2003
Organised by the Japan Society, New York and The British Museum, in association with the Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo.
Made possible by Fidelity Investments through the Fidelity Foundation. With gratitude to Mr Kazuo Okada for generous support through the Japan Foundation.
Kazari is the Japanese art and experience of arranging and displaying decorative objects. It refers not only to the object, but also to its use in specific settings and contexts, and requires the active participation of imagination or memory. Stimulating the senses through the acts of viewing, using, or adorning a work of art, kazari manifests the dynamism inherent in Japanese aesthetics, and suggests the process that transforms the everyday into something extraordinary.
The exhibition consists of a selection of remarkable and often unexpected objects in all media - painting, ceramics, lacquer, textiles, glass and metalwork - from major collections in Britain, Japan, and the United States.
The exhibits will be organised in six chronological and thematic sections, presenting superb examples of decorative and fine art objects that correspond to particular periods of high cultural achievements from the Muromachi (1392-1573), Momoyama (1573-1615), and Edo (1615-1868) periods. From the shogun's court in the fifteenth century, through the prosperous merchants of the early seventeenth century, to the pleasure districts of burgeoning Edo, the exhibition will show how the arts of decoration and display were integral to Japanese culture.
The exhibition is co-curated by Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Art and Culture (SISJAC), London and Norwich, and Tsuji Nobuo, Tama Art University, Tokyo.
Kazari: Decoration and display in Japan 15th – 19th centuries.