Thursday, February 6, 2014

Remnants of the Floating World - Japanese Art

The opening reception of the Gregg Museum of Art and Design’s exhibit “Remnants of the Floating World” will be held Thursday, 6 February, from 6-8 pm at the historic Chancellor’s Residence, 1903 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC.  Japanese refreshments will be served.

Kimonos, textiles, ceramics, and 19th century woodblock images from feudal Japan’s pleasure and entertainment districts are included in this exhibit.  This exhibit runs from 6 February to 23 May 2014.

This is what the museum’s web site says about the exhibit:

Before long the Gregg Museum will move into its first stand-alone building, the historic Chancellor’s Residence at the northern end of Pullen Park.  Behind the handsome 1928 home is a walled garden that takes full advantage of the taller trees rising in the park beyond—a concept known to Japanese Zen gardeners as shakkei (借景), or “borrowed landscape.”

 In planning the adaptation of the site for the new museum, great care will be taken to preserve and enhance the views of the park and its mature trees and shrubs as much as possible. At the same time, the grounds will be made more accessible for visitors to turn their attention to a natural setting where they will be able to read, talk, study or meditate among appealing works of outdoor art.

This kind of experience was described by Zen priest Asai Ryōi in his 1661 book, Ukiyo-monogatari (浮世物語, Tales of the Floating World”), when he portrayed a sensation of “. . . living only for the moment, savoring the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves, singing songs, diverting oneself in just . . . letting oneself drift, buoyant and carefree, like a gourd floating along in a river current . . . .”

To celebrate the landscape surrounding its new site, REMNANTS OF THE FLOATING WORLD draws upon the treasures of the Gregg’s permanent collection to present an exhibition of Japanese ceramics, textiles, 19th century color woodblock prints (ukiyo-e, 浮世絵 , literally "pictures of the floating world"). The prints depict courtesans in elegant kimonos, warrior-heroes on military ventures, sinister ghosts and witches, theatrical performances and scenes of leisure—a delightful glimpse into the past as the Gregg prepares for its exciting future.
Floating World
If you are in the Raleigh area, check this out.

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