Open 16 Feb – 15 Dec 2024
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.
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