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Japanese Modernism

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Taniguchi Fumie
Preparing to go out 1935
six panel folding screen: ink and watercolour on silk,
lacquer on wood
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Kevin McDonald and Eunice McDonald Bequest and NGV Foundation, 2019
© Estate of Taniguchi Fumie

Japanese Modernism

28 Feb 2020 - 4 Oct 2020

Free entry
NGV International
Level 1, Asian Art temporary exhibitions

28 Feb 20 – 4 Oct 20
Open 10am–5pm daily

During the first half of the twentieth century Japan’s traditional art and aesthetics interacted with European life and culture, resulting in a pulsating era of Japanese modernism and the creation of Asian Art Deco architecture, paintings, prints, design and fashion. From the early 1920s until the late 1930s Japan developed a lively consumer culture and felt the influence of new technologies from abroad. Its cities underwent major redevelopment and featured bustling streets filled with department stores, cafés, teahouses, movie theatres, ballroom dance halls and modern transportation that catered to a new generation of urban pleasure seekers.

The exhibition features major works by young female artists of the era and rare large-scale paintings by young Japanese artists and modernist colour prints produced with the refined techniques of traditional ukiyo-e. The exhibition also features fashion of the era, including women’s and men’s kimonos and related accessories. Popular culture and interior design will be represented with beautifully crafted glassware, lacquer ware and bronze ware, as well as street posters, magazines and graphic design.

This exhibition is the result of a focused collecting strategy to build the NGV’s holdings of visually inspiring art and design from this fascinating and little recognised era of Asian art.

Japanese Modernism has received grant funding from the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, for which the NGV is deeply grateful.


Image: Marep Pamle artists (from top left) Kalina Day, Nellie Passi, Mary Kaigey, Helen Mabo, Helen Dick, Dulcie Anne Gibas, and Reteah Tapim Mas, cushions jute, fabric paint, corn fibre, thread Photography courtesy NGV © The artists.

Gallery Details

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
T: 61 3 8620 2222
W: ngv.vic.gov.au

Opening Hours
Open 10am–5pm daily 
Check NGV website for public holiday hours.

General entry is free. 
Some exhibitions are ticketed. Check NGV website for details.
Get Directions

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road 
Melbourne

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Federation Square 
Melbourne


Gallery Info
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