National Museum of Scotland Presents Kabuki: Japanese Theatre Prints, 10/4 - 2/2
Kabuki: Japanese Theatre Prints is a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland that reveals the spectacular artwork and larger-than-life characters from a 19th century Japanese cultural phenomenon.
The exhibition features many rarely seen prints of artworks including the only surviving impression in existence of a scene in a public bathhouse at New Year, (c1815) by Kuninao. The print shows seven leading actors of the day at the bathhouse, and is an example of the sort of 'celebrity' image of actors off stage and off duty which became extremely popular during the period.
Striking designs present vivid depictions of Kabuki, the popular form of traditional, all-male, Japanese theatre which combines drama, music, dance and acrobatics in convoluted plots concerning dramatic, emotional conflicts and feats of derring-do.
Their visual style will be familiar to fans of Manga comics, Japanese cinema and even David Bowie, some of whose 70s costumes and performances were influenced by the Kabuki style.
Dr Rosina Buckland, Senior Curator - East & Central Asia at National Museums Scotland, said:
"These prints are a really vivid reflection of Kabuki as a cornerstone of 19th century Japanese popular culture, and yet the visual style will be immediately recognisable to a lot of 21st century audiences. The exhibition affords a rare opportunity for a Scottish audience to view this material and to learn more about a fascinating cultural and social period in Japanese history".
Rosina will be available for interview at the press view.
Available to photograph
Over 60 spectacular, rare and colourful prints including the only known impression in existence of the bath house scene.
Curatorial staff will be present and can be photographed applying finishing touches to the exhibition.
To see more examples of the prints that will be on show, visit www.nms.ac.uk/kabuki
National Museums Scotland looks after museum collections of national and international importance and provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.
The National Museum of Scotland reopened in summer 2011 following a three-year, £47m redevelopment. Since then it has entered the top ten most popular UK visitor attractions (ALVA), becoming the most popular attraction in the country outside of London. With over 4 million visitors within two years, the Museum is also one of the top 20 most popular art museums and galleries in the world (The Art Newspaper). It was also voted the number one museum in the UK in TripAdvisor's inaugural Travellers' Choice Awards earlier this year.