This talk will introduce the striking prints of contemporary Japanese print artist Takahashi Hiromitsu (b. 1959), currently the focus of our free Kabuki Legends exhibition. With exhibition curator Clare Pollard.
Hiromitsu’s work depicts iconic scenes from the kabuki theatre, in which 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.
Hiromitsu’s prints evoke Japan’s traditional ukiyo-e woodblock actor prints in theme and composition, but are made using the very different kappazuri ‘stencil printing’ technique, 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.
Dr Pollard will present the stories and techniques behind the prints, and explain how the Ashmolean came to have its own extensive Hiromitsu collection thanks to museum supporter Philip Harris.
The talk will be available to watch live on Zoom for those not able to attend in person.