【Exhibition】 Japan’s Modern Beauty. Okada Saburosuke and his Contemporaries in the Era of Japanese Modern Style. Until March 17th.
Major transformations in Japanese fashion and aesthetic ideals took place during Japan’s rapid modernisation in the decades after the fall of the feudal Edo Period (1603-1868) government. One artist who played a central role in redefining Japan concepts of ideal feminine beauty from the late 1800s through the first part of the 20th century was Western-style painter, Okada Saburosuke. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the artist, who lived from 1869 until 1939.
Like many artists during this period, Okada also created images for magazines, posters and newspapers, setting the trends for modern fashion and capturing women’s fashions in painstaking detail. He was involved with Japan’s first ever photography competition depicting beautiful women. Okada Saburosuke had a good understanding of the lifestyle, evolving sense of beauty and changing aspirations of the “modern girl” and painted numerous portraits of Japanese beauties.
This exhibition traces the changing aesthetics of a new era through 200 display items including, in addition to works by Okada himself, photographs, fabrics, jewelry and cosmetic sets, as well as paintings and posters by a range of other artists.
Museum ticket giveaway! Manabi Japan has five pairs of tickets to give away for this exhibition. Please see the bottom of this article for details.
Enomoto Chikatoshi. Spring by a Pond. 1932. Iwami Art Museum, Shimane Prefecture.
Radical changes in the feminine ideal from the Edo Period into the modern era
In contrast with ukiyoe woodblock prints (the Edo Period version of the fashion plate), which depict a stereotypical female face with narrow slanting eyes, a hooked nose and tiny rosebud mouth, the Western-style artists of the Meiji Period created a new ideal of feminine beauty, depicting women with clearly defined features. Having returned from studying oil painting in Europe, these artists had acquired not only new painting techniques, but also a new way of representing the female image.
Display of kimono and fashionable accoutrements depicted in paintings
Together with Okada’s masterpieces, textile items depicted in his work are on display. An extensive range of cosmetic items including valuable cosmetic and toiletry sets, western-style jewelry designed to be worn with kimono, and modern, brightly patterned silk kimono show the Western influence on Japan’s changing aesthetic.
Fashion becomes more diverse, along with the changing female image
This was an era when a range of different types of images of women began to emerge, adorned in the latest fashions and celebrating female beauty. In the atmosphere of freedom of the Taishō Period (1912-1926), artists’ works attest to not only the unique sensibilities of the artists’ muses, but also to the individual expression of the painters themselves.
Period: December 8, 2018 (Sat) – March 17, 2019 (Sun)
※ This exhibition will be closed on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.
Venue: Pola Museum of Art. Sengokuhara Kozukayama 1285, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken, 250-0631..
Hours: 09:00 – 17:00（Last entry 16:30）
Admission: Adults 1,800 yen. Senior (over 65) 1,600 yen. University and high school students, 1,300 yen. Junior high and elementary students, 700 yen. (Admission is free for elementary and junior high school students on Saturdays.)
【Museum Ticket Giveaway!】
Manabi Japan has five pairs of tickets to give away to our readers in Japan. To enter the draw for admission tickets to the “Japan’s Modern Beauty, Okada Saburosuke and his Contemporaries in the Era of Japanese Modern Style”exhibition at the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, write “Manabi Japan ENGLISH Okada Saburosuke Japan’s Modern Beauty Exhibition Ticket Giveaway” and be sure to include your name and your physical address in Japan.
※ Entries close on Friday, January 25, 2019. Winners of the draw will receive the tickets by post. The promoter’s decision will be final and no further correspondence will be entered into. For privacy reasons, the names of the winners will not be announced publicly.