Ronin Gallery Blog
Hosted jointly by Ronin Gallery and Globus Washitsu, Ronin|Globus Artist-in-Residence seeks to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue by providing the opportunity for Japanese visual artists to live, work and exhibit in New York City.
While often translated to “cute,” in English, this translation is a misnomer. Masuda’s definition of kawaii is distinct from that which rose in the commercial kawaii of the 1980s. Instead, his definition focuses on a spirit of kawaii, continuing a powerful narrative of Japanese pop culture that bloomed during the Edo Period.
Japanese myths brim with ghosts and demons, animals with magical powers, mischievous spirits, and mysterious realms where humans and supernatural creatures live side by side.
By the dawn of the Edo period, the role of the samurai had shifted. As Japan experienced a period of relative calm, these fierce fighters found themselves bored and brimming with pent up aggression.
From the Edo period to today, artists produce woodblock prints in multiples. While surimono (lavishly printed, privately commissioned works) could be commissioned in editions as small as a single print, the most popular designs were printed into the hundreds during the Edo period.
While ukiyo-e were printed in a variety of sizes, each format adhered to a standardized sizing system shaped by both technical and social factors. This determination begins with two of the primary materials of woodblock printing: the woodblock and the paper.
The Yugao Chapter from The Tale of Genji (1886), is inspired by a foundational work of Japanese literature. Written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century, Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) follows life of Hiraku Genji, the shining son of the Japanese emperor.