Exhibition

KUNIYOSHI + | UKIYOENOW

Sat, 26.10.2019–Sun, 16.02.2020

MAK – Museum of Applied Arts

KUNIYOSHI +

Design and Entertainment in Japanese Woodblock Prints

Utagawa Kuniyoshi is renowned as one of Japan’s great artists of the nineteenth century. Manga and Anime are practically inconceivable without his visual imagery. He produced artistic and technically ground-breaking prints that were very popular with the general public.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Austrian-Japanese friendship, the MAK is holding an exhibition on the Japanese ukiyo-e designer Kuniyoshi and his artistic and cultural milieu.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) could be counted as one of the central figures in the history of Japanese color woodcut prints towards the end of the Edo Period (1603–1868). Together with the leading publishers of his era and with other artists of the Utagawa School, including Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) and Utagawa Kunisada I (1786–1864), he created prints that are artistically and technically ground-breaking and yet very popular among the broad-based public. As a designer of commercial products he was always scouting for fresh impulses and new themes, and a new visual vocabulary. Besides single sheets and series, often produced in close cooperation with the entertainment industry, he interwove into his works cutting and cynical criticism of the upper-class establishment, which endeavored to prevent social change through tougher censorship and restrictions.

Many exhibitions on Kuniyoshi and his era have taken place across the globe in recent years, mainly focusing on political critique and humoristic narratives, also “tales of heroes.” Significantly, these are the very themes that are only sparsely represented in the extensive MAK Asia Collection.

The MAK houses color woodcuts by Kuniyoshi and his contemporaries that in their profile and compilation are unique across the world. The collection of Japanese color woodblock prints from the late Edo Period was compiled for the most part around 1900; here, two collector personalities must be singled out: Heinrich Siebold (1852–1908), whose collection found its way between 1892 and 1905 into the Viennese collections of Asian art, and Richard Lieben (1842–1919), from whose estate an extensive and superlative ukiyo-e collection was bequeathed to the MAK.

Therefore this exhibition in the anniversary year is a wonderfully fitting opportunity to show Kuniyoshi’s works in the way that only such collections with their historically compiled holdings are capable of and therefore, in addition, to provide insight into the strategy of European ukiyo-e collectors in Vienna around 1900. In a total of eight sections, the exhibition KUNIYOSHI + positions his work in the center of the Utagawa school: innovations in content and aesthetics make Kuniyoshi’s oeuvre act as a mirror reflecting the great political and social changes in Japan in the nineteenth century.

Guest Curator: Johannes Wieninger
Curator: Mio Wakita-Elis, Curator, MAK Asia Collection

Kindly supported by

           

UKIYOENOW

Tradition and Experiment

The significance given today to the fascinating world of the woodblock print (ukiyo-e) is impressively showcased in the works of Masumi Ishikawa and Megumi Ōishi (UKIYO-E PROJECT) and the graphic designer Andrew Archer. All of them resort to the typical visual elements and techniques of the Japanese woodblock print, nevertheless, the dominant subjects of their works include such contemporary themes as music and sport.
The exhibition UKIYOENOW: Tradition and Experiment shows contemporary approaches to the traditional color woodcut and poses the question of how far the different production forms—traditional handicraft and digital print—are affecting the further development of the ukiyo-e.

This will be the first presentation in Europe of works by Masumi Ishikawa (b. 1978 in Tokyo) and Megumi Ōishi and the graphic designer Andrew Archer (b. in Auckland), which translate motifs from pop culture and sport into the aesthetic of the ukiyo-e. Both artists stand for the renewal of the idiom and visual imagery of the Edo Period (1603–1868) and are trailblazers for the globalization of Japanese art.

While theme, style and technique of the ukiyo-e were specifically Japanese until the twentieth century, a hundred years later an artistic language evolved out of it that has served artists throughout the world. Ishikawa, Ōishi and Archer borrow from the typical visual elements and techniques of the Japanese color woodcut, but their subjects are contemporary phenomena from the global world of entertainment: music and sport.

With the aim of reviving the ukiyo-e, in 2014 the Ukiyo-e Project was founded, which interprets new motifs using traditional production techniques. In the MAK exhibition UKIYOENOW the elaborately designed prints are on show for the first time in their entirety outside Japan.

In contrast to traditional production methods in the Ukiyo-e Project, Andrew Archer’s works are produced digitally. The graphic designer, who lives in Melbourne, combines his passion for basketball and ukiyo-e in his most extensive series yet, EDO-BALL, in publication since 2013. This dynamic picture series produced in high-quality digital print follows Kuniyoshi and his pupil Yoshitoshi in style and spellbinds viewers with its individual wit and humor.

Guest Curator: Johannes Wieninger
Curator: Mio Wakita-Elis, Curator, MAK Asia Collection

Kindly supported by
              


Opening

of both exhibitions
Fri, 25 Oct 2019, 7 p.m.

Free admission to the opening
Facebook Event

Opening:
Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, General Director, MAK
Kiyoshi Koinuma, Japanese Ambassador, Vienna
Johannes Wieninger, Guest Curator
Mio Wakita-Elis, Curator, MAK Asia Collection
 
Followed by:
Ghosts x Performance
Of monsters, revenging spirits, and vampire cats
Selected ghost and horror stories from Japan, narrated by Judith Brandner. With a performance by Akemi Takeya
MAK FORUM

MAK DAY 2019

Goes Japan

Sat, 26 Oct 2019
On MAK DAY 2019, the MAK extends an invitation to an exciting journey to the Far East, to the fascinating country of Japan. The focus of the comprehensive exhibition and guided tour program is the newly opened exhibitions KUNIYOSHI + and UKIYOENOW. Kuniyoshi is considered one of the greatest artists of 19th century Japan. Manga and anime could hardly have been created without the visual vocabulary he developed. The importance of colored woodblock printing (ukiyo-e) today is impressively documented by the works of the UKIYO-E-PROJECT artists and the Australian artist Andrew Archer.
Facebook Event

PRINT ON DEMAND

Accompanying the exhibitions KUNIYOSHI + and UKIYOENOW, in the MAK Design Shop online we offer art prints of very beautiful woodblock prints in a range of sizes and paper types. We print the colorful motifs in the museum—on demand and in museum quality. Conveniently enjoy online at MAKdesignshop.at


Calatlog KUNIYOSHI +

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalog KUNIYOSHI +: Design and Entertainment in Japanese Woodblock Prints by Mio Wakita-Elis and Johannes Wieninger, edited by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Mio Wakita-Elis, and Johannes Wieninger. German/English, 152 pages with numerous color illustrations. MAK/Verlag für moderne Kunst, Vienna 2019. Available at the MAK Design Shop and online at MAKdesignshop.at for € 27.

MAK TIP

Japannual—Japanese Film Days at the Filmcasino: For the third time now, the Austrian-Japanese Society is organizing the film festival, which revolves around Japanese feature films and documentaries from the current Japanese cinema year. From 1 to 6 October 2019 | japannual.at

Program (21 Events)

Sat, 14.12.2019 2.00 pm 4.00 pm
MINI MAK im Advent

Dri-Dra-Druck und Grafik: Von Ost nach West von 1800 bis 2018

Dri-Dra-Druck und Grafik: Von Ost nach West von 1800 bis 2018
Drei wunderbare Ausstellungen zum Thema Druck, Grafik und Plakat sind derzeit im MAK zu bestaunen – was für ein schöner Anlass, endlich auch selbst wieder ein Kärtchen zu gestalten! Lasst euch von Kuniyoshi, dem alten japanischen Meister des Farbholzschnitts, von zeitgenössischem Ukiyoe oder von den 100 besten Plakaten aus Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz inspirieren. Zeichnen, schneiden, kleben und drucken – alles ist erlaubt.

Workshop für die ganze Familie (ab 4 Jahren)
Materialbeitrag: € 4,50 pro Kind (bei freiem Eintritt)
Ermäßigter Eintritt für Begleitpersonen
Im Rahmen des wienXtra kinderaktiv-Programms
1459977554986
Sat, 14.12.2019 3.00 pm
Exhibition Tour

The Fascinating World of Colored Woodblock Printing: KUNIYOSHI + | UKIYOENOW

Sun, 15.12.2019 3.00 pm
Exhibition Tour

The Fascinating World of Colored Woodblock Printing: KUNIYOSHI + | UKIYOENOW

Tue, 17.12.2019 6.00 pm
Exhibition Tour

UKIYOE & MAK DESIGN LAB

Sat, 21.12.2019 2.00 pm 4.00 pm
MINI MAK im Advent

Dri-Dra-Druck und Grafik: Von Ost nach West von 1800 bis 2018

Dri-Dra-Druck und Grafik: Von Ost nach West von 1800 bis 2018
Drei wunderbare Ausstellungen zum Thema Druck, Grafik und Plakat sind derzeit im MAK zu bestaunen – was für ein schöner Anlass, endlich auch selbst wieder ein Kärtchen zu gestalten! Lasst euch von Kuniyoshi, dem alten japanischen Meister des Farbholzschnitts, von zeitgenössischem Ukiyoe oder von den 100 besten Plakaten aus Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz inspirieren. Zeichnen, schneiden, kleben und drucken – alles ist erlaubt.

Workshop für die ganze Familie (ab 4 Jahren)
Materialbeitrag: € 4,50 pro Kind (bei freiem Eintritt)
Ermäßigter Eintritt für Begleitpersonen
Im Rahmen des wienXtra kinderaktiv-Programms
1459977554986
+



Media

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “The Noble Lady Tokiwa” from the series Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women, ca. 1842
© MAK/Georg Mayer
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Ghost of Asakura Tōgo, 1851
© MAK/Georg Mayer
Masumi Ishikawa, David Bowie Shapeshifting Comparison “Kidomaru” (Aladdin Sane) Ukiyo-e, Tokyo, 2018
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
Megumi Ōishi, KISS VS MCZ Ukiyo-e, Tokyo, 2015
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
Andrew Archer, Chris Lee (Li Yuchun), Liuxing Tour—Beijing, 2018
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Fashionable Taste in these Days, 1830–1840
© MAK/Georg Mayer
Masumi Ishikawa, David Bowie Shapeshifting Comparison “Takezawa Toji” (Diamond Dogs)
Ukiyo-e, Tokyo, 2018
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “The Consulant Masatsune,” poem 94 from the series Comparisons of the Ogura One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each, ca. 1845
© MAK/Georg Mayer
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Benkei on the Bridge” from the series Collection of Striped Female Benkeis from the Pleasure Quarters, 1843/44
© MAK/Georg Mayer
Andrew Archer, Tekken 7—Kazumi, 2017
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Andrew Archer, Chris Lee (Li Yuchun), Liuxing Tour—Beijing, 2018
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Andrew Archer, Jared Leto—30 Seconds To Mars, 2017
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Andrew Archer, Dark Lord Day 2018, 2018
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Andrew Archer, Fan of the Game from the series Edo Ball, 2018
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Maiden: the Evil Fox Kayō and the Indian Prince Hansoku” from the series Japanese-Chinese Comparisons to the Genji Novel, 1855
© MAK/Georg Mayer
Masumi Ishikawa, Kabuki Ukiyo-e, Tokyo, 2015
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
Masumi Ishikawa, Paul Stanley Ukiyo-e, Tokyo, 2015
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
Masumi Ishikawa, Eddie’s Beauty Revealed, Tokyo 2016
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
Andrew Archer, The Great Game aus der Serie Edo Ball, 2018
Giclée-Druck
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Masumi Ishikawa, Slashing Eddie, Tokyo, 2016
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Tamakazura, the Diver Brings Back the Pearls” from the series Comparison of Scenes from the Tale of Genji and the Floating World, 1843–1847
© MAK/Georg Mayer
Andrew Archer, The Klaw from the series Edo Ball, 2017
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Andrew Archer, The Dirkiryo from the series Edo Ball, 2018
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Andrew Archer, The Black Mamba from the series Edo Ball, 2017
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Andrew Archer, The Reign Ronin from the series Edo Ball, 2017
Giclée print
© Andrew Archer, Melbourne
Masumi Ishikawa, Monstrous Ukiyo-e, Tokyo, 2015
Woodblock print
© UKIYO-E PROJECT
MAK Exhibition View, 2019
UKIYOENOW: Tradition and Experiment
MAK GALLERY
© MAK/Georg Mayer
MAK Exhibition View, 2019
UKIYOENOW: Tradition and Experiment
MAK GALLERY
© MAK/Georg Mayer
MAK Exhibition View, 2019
Kuniyoshi +: Design and Entertainment in Japanese Woodblock Prints
MAK DESIGN LAB
© MAK/Georg Mayer
MAK Exhibition View, 2019
Kuniyoshi +: Design and Entertainment in Japanese Woodblock Prints
MAK DESIGN LAB
© MAK/Georg Mayer
MAK Exhibition View, 2019
Kuniyoshi +: Design and Entertainment in Japanese Woodblock Prints
MAK DESIGN LAB
© MAK/Georg Mayer