Each season we offer a selection of exhibitions on Japanese art. We hope you will enjoy the winter 2022 selection. Several exhibitions from our fall selection are still on. 

JAPAN: COURTS AND CULTURE, The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Next event: Friday, 16 Dec 2022, Every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (Friday, 8 Apr 2022 - Sunday, 26 Feb 2023)

The Royal Collection holds some of the most significant examples of Japanese art and design in the western world. For the first time, highlights from this outstanding collection are brought together to tell the story of 300 years of diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchange between the British and Japanese royal and imperial families. The exhibition includes rare pieces of porcelain and lacquer, samurai armour, embroidered screens and diplomatic gifts from the reigns of James I to Queen Elizabeth II. Together, they offer a unique insight into the worlds of ritual, honour and artistry linking the courts and cultures of Britain and Japan.

Netsuke: miniature masterpieces from Japan, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, UK

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has a collection of over 200 Japanese netsuke, small carvings mainly used by men to attach items to their belts. Created in the 1700s and 1800s, each netsuke is unique and they depict a huge range of subjects from Japanese popular culture. 75 of these tiny masterpieces from the collection are featured in this exhibition.

Japan's Book Donation to the University of Louvain 28.10.2022 > 15.01.2023 - University Library Louvain Belgium

In the 1920s, Japan donated roughly 3,000 books to the University of Leuven, totaling nearly 14,000 volumes, in addition to several maps and some works of art. This represented Japan's contribution to the reconstruction of the University Library, which had been completely reduced to ashes in August 1914. More than hundred years later, the donation is an important and often forgotten part of the heritage of KU Leuven and the Université Catholique de Louvain.

The collection is among the most remarkable and systematic collections of early modern Japanese books outside Japan. The majority of the donated books date from the Edo period (1600-1868). A selection from this magnificent donation will be on display at the exhibition. The catalogue can be downloaded.


Meeting Tessai: Modern Japanese Art from the Cowles Collection, August 13, 2022 – February 18, 2024, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

Tomioka Tessai (1836–1924) exemplifies the modern Japanese painter. Contemporaries praised his avant-garde works, yet Tessai created his nonconformist paintings in a traditional way, basing them on ancient Japanese art and Ming and Qing paintings imported from China. Meeting Tessai highlights a transformative gift of early modern and modern Japanese paintings and calligraphy from the Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection. It is also the first major American exhibition in five decades to explore the significance of pan–East Asian influences—a pertinent topic in today’s interconnected world—through the work of Tessai, Rengetsu, and modern Japanese painting.

Her Brush | Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection, November 13, 2022 - May 13, 2023, Denver Museum of Art, USA

Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection takes a nuanced approach to questions of artistic voice, gender, and agency through more than 100 works of painting, calligraphy, and ceramics from 1600s to 1900s Japan. Many of the artworks will be on view for the first time to the public. Her Brush traces the pathways women artists forged for themselves in their pursuit of art and explores the universal human drive of artistic expression as self-realization, while navigating cultural barriers during times marked by strict gender roles and societal regulations. These social restrictions served as both impediment and impetus to women pursuing artmaking in Japan at the time.

Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection, June 7, 2022 – February 20, 2023, The Met Fifth Avenue New York, USA

This exhibition will trace the transformation of the kimono from the late Edo period (1615–1868) through the early 20th century, as the T-shaped garment was adapted to suit the lifestyle of modern Japanese women. It will feature a remarkable selection of works from the renowned John C. Weber Collection of Japanese art that explore the mutual artistic exchanges between the kimono and Western fashion, as well as highlights from The Costume Institute’s collection.

ROTATION | The crane season, 2 May 2022 - 14 March 2023, MAO - Museum of Oriental Art Turin, Piedmont, Italy

On the occasion of one of the periodic rotations for conservation purposes involving the Japanese gallery, the refined pair of "Gru (tsuru)" screens from the seventeenth century is exhibited: fifteen cranes of various species are depicted in a marshy environment, wrapped in a golden mist . The glimmer and brightness of the screens, which almost illuminate the room, are due to the precious gold leaf background (kinpaku), restored to its former glory thanks to a restoration funded in 2011 by the Friends of the Turin Museums Foundation.

Virtual exhibition #40 wabi sabi Ibasho Gallery Antwerp Belgium

For those who cannot visit the current exhibition in the Sieboldhuis, Leiden, The Netherlands about the Japanese aesthetic concept Wabo Sabi: a preceeding virtual exhibition. See the SJA exhibition review of the exhibition in the Sieboldhuis.

Tea Ceremony Utensils Exhibition Until 2 February 2023 Gotoh Museum Tokyo Japan

A full-size model of the alcove of the museum's tea rooms, Kokeiro, Shoujuan, and Fujimi-tei, is displayed in the exhibition room, and approximately 70 items from the museum's collection of tea ceremony utensils are selected for display (some items may change during the exhibition period). In addition to kaiseki and charcoal implements, the exhibition features an assortment of tea ceremony utensils related to warlords and feudal lords, with a focus on Kobori Enshu (1579-1647). As a special exhibit, tea ceremony wrapping cloths will also be on display.

Human | Nature 150 Years of Japanese Landscape Prints Dec 3, 2022 – May 7, 2023, Portland Art Museum Portland, USA

Selected from the Portland Art Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition explores Japan’s journey with and through nature during the 19th century and into the modern age through the lens of landscape prints, revealing the at once reverential and playful spirit in which people held the trees, mountains, and rivers around them.

HORIZONS Qiu Shihua | Leiko Ikemura | Kimsooja | Evelyn Taocheng Wang | Yu Duan October 21, 2022 - April 10, 2023 Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Köln Cologne Germany

The exhibition Horizons presents striking positions by contemporary, internationally renowned artists from China, Korea and Japan at the interface between Far Eastern and Western art. The exhibition includes works by Qiu Shihua, Leiko Ikemura, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Kimsooja and Yu Duan.The selected artists come from the three East Asian countries represented by the MOK: China, Korea and Japan. They draw on their centuries-old tradition as part of their identity. In that spirit, individual pieces of ancient art are juxtaposed with their works in the exhibition. The influence of Western art on China, Korea and Japan has by no means eliminated tradition, instead challenging it to develop and evolve along new lines in the course of globalization. Transcending the bounds of their cultural origins, the artists cited above have created works that resonate with concepts from modern Western art.

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