KABUKI LEGENDS PART TWO

FREE EXHIBITION

Open 16 Feb – 15 Dec 2024

Gallery 29

Admission is FREE


Japanese artist Takahashi Hiromitsu creates dynamic, colourful prints showing exciting moments in kabuki, a traditional form of dance-drama. This is the second show in a two-part exhibition of his works in Gallery 29.

Hiromitsu’s striking designs are not portraits of actual actors, but visualisations of famous kabuki roles.

In kabuki, performers wearing elaborate costumes and make-up use stylised movement and song to enact melodramatic stories about love, loyalty and the clash between duty and emotion.

Onatsu surrounded by origami cranes - Kabuki Legends Part Two by Takahashi Hiromitsu

Dancing Cranes by Takahashi Hiromitsu, 2017 © Hiromitsu Takahashi / The Tolman Collection

 
The works recall Japan’s traditional ukiyo-e woodblock actor prints, but are made using a different technique – kappazuri, or stencil printing, originally used for dyeing kimono. This process is complex and labour-intensive and Hiromitsu is one of very few artists working in this way today.

This exhibition showcases a second selection of these unusual prints from the Ashmolean's own extensive collection of Hiromitsu's work, generously presented by Philip Harris.

Images above and in the carousel below all © Hiromitsu Takahashi / The Tolman Collection

WATCH THE KABUKI LEGENDS PART ONE VIDEO

Curator Clare Pollard introduces Hiromitsu's first exhibition in 2023 and his printmaking techniques

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_j5T2IT9guE?rel=0&cc_load_policy=1