Sunday, Sep 21, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 20 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 25
Japanese Deco at SAAM
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Japanese Deco at SAAM

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

'DECO JAPAN:
SHAPING ART & CULTURE,
1920 - 1945'
SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM
Through October 19


'Knowledge of the types of Western liquor and a willingness to flirt to get them for free,' 'Devotion to Jazz records, dancing and smoking Golden Bat cigarettes from a metal cigarette holder,' 'Offering one's lips to any man who is useful, even if he is bald or ugly, but keeping one's chastity because 'infringement of chastity' lawsuits are out of style' - these are just a few of the tenets of the MOGA or 'modern girl' of Japan of the 1920s and 30s.

As economies boomed across the globe post-WWI, Art Deco was the aesthetic tradition of the day that heralded each power's entry into modernity and consumer culture. Seattle Asian Art Museum's current exhibit, 'Deco Japan: Shaping Art & Culture, 1920 - 1945,' reveals Japan was no exception. Coupled with the rise of film, Deco's celebration of that potential made Western fashions and lifestyles tremendously popular in Japan. The MOGA sported short hair and a short skirt; her drink was a gin and tonic, she kept up on the latest trends from Hollywood and Paris. Lithographs on display that range in size from poster to post-card reveal a spectrum of this transformation; some appear mostly traditional with just a subtle nod to modernity, while others so embrace the Deco style, their Japanese origin feels nearly obscured altogether.

'Deco Japan' consistently surprises by showing how fluidly the formal line manipulations of Art Deco melded with the nation's traditional aesthetics. Geometric abstraction and a narrower color palate accent the natural motifs that had long been aesthetic staples in Japanese art, and lend a significantly different attitude to landscapes. Pottery and decorative boxes appear as true curios to the untrained eye - both distinctly Japanese and distinctly Western.

Other modernist motifs and influences such as Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, Russian Constructivism and others can be seen here, too. A 1930s sake washing bowl calls to mind De Stijl, while a lithograph of a bullet train reveals the influence of Futurism - a blurred train speeds through a predominantly blurred landscape; the only still object in the foreground is the nation's flag at the head of the mighty machine.

Art Deco's cultural ubiquity was due in part because of the adaptability of its aesthetic principles to a wide range of mediums, and that's evident in this collection of nearly 200 pieces. The exhibition's paintings, advertising prints, sculpture, ceramics, lacquerware, textiles, standing screens, and fashions - including kimonos, obis, jackets, robes and jewelry - all reveal not only Japan's influence by the international tradition, but it's contributions to it.

What makes this exhibit truly significant is simply the unique and decidedly temporary socio-historical context from which it originates. While the embrace of these international cultural norms here feel both desired and celebratory, one can't help but think of Japan post-WWII, when this very kind of international influence was thrust on Japan by no choice of its own.

'Deco Japan: Shaping Art & Culture, 1920 - 1945' runs through October 19 at Seattle Asian Art Museum, located in Volunteer Park. The museum itself, built in 1933, is part of the Art Deco tradition, too, and serves as a perfect venue for this six-room exhibition. 'Deco Japan' is drawn from The Levenson Collection and is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. Support has been provided by The Chisholm Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Japanese Deco at SAAM
------------------------------
Diverse Harmony
------------------------------
Ten concerts you definitely want to see this summer
------------------------------
Submissions for The Queer Press Grant are now open
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
LETTERS
------------------------------

------------------------------
Hard to take eyes (or ears) off of Eastwood's Boys
------------------------------
22 Jump Street a funny, if familiar, sequel
------------------------------
Minimalistic Rover an absorbing Australian road trip
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2013

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News