24 April 2012 from 6.30pm
The Edo period (1603–1868) witnessed one of the great flowerings of Japanese art. Towards the mid-seventeenth century, the Japanese states were largely at peace, and rapid urbanization, a rise in literacy and an increase in international contact ensued. The number of those able to purchase luxury goods, or who felt their social position necessitated owning them, soared. Painters and artists flourished and the late seventeenth century also saw a rise in the importance of printmaking. Obtaining Images introduces the reader to important artists and their work, but also to the intellectual issues and concepts surrounding the production, consumption and display of art in Japan in the Edo period. Rather than looking at these through the lens of European art, the book contextualizes the making and use of paintings and prints, elucidating how and why works were commissioned, where they were displayed and what special properties were attributed to them.
Timon Screech is Professor in the History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and, concurrently, Permanent Visiting Professor at Tama Art University, Tokyo. He is the author of several books on Japanese history and culture, including Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan, 1700–1820 (Reaktion, 1999) and The Shogun’s Painted Culture: Fear and Creativity in the Japanese States, 1760–1829(Reaktion, 2000). Tim Clark, Keeper of Japanese Art at the British Museum will act as discussant at this event.
This event is presented in partnership with Reaktion Books, with this book having been awarded a grant under the Japan Foundation Support Programme for Publication on Japan.