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Designed for Pleasure: The World of Edo Japan in Prints and Paintings, 1680 – 1860
Posted: April 18th, 2008
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Through 140 masterworks of paintings, woodblock prints, and books, Designed for Pleasure examines—in the context of Japan’s famous floating world—aesthetic, social, and commercial forces active in contemporary art today: fashion, celebrity, marketing, and popular culture. Ukiyo, literally, “floating world,” means something like “going with the flow.” In practice, this implied disporting oneself in the pleasure quarters and theater districts of Edo, Kyoto, and Osaka that captivated the popular imagination of Japan from the late seventeenth to late nineteenth centuries. E means “picture.” Ukiyo-e (pronounced oo-key-yo-ay) are the paintings and woodcuts that depict the floating world, a term that has become identified with this milieu and, by extension, its activities and the native landscape.

Learn more about this exhibit at the Asia Society’s Web site.

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SundayArts is made possible in part by First Republic Bank and by the Rubin Museum of Art. Funding for SundayArts is also made possible by Rosalind P. Walter, The Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation, The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Lemberg Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding provided by members of THIRTEEN.