Sex Art in Japan: Perspectives on Shunga

External event - British Museum

Friday 4 October, 2013 - Saturday 5 October, 2013

International Shunga Symposium

BP Lecture Theatre, The British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

Symposium admission free (seating is limited)
** Please note the special lecture is a ticketed event, £5 admission, £3 Members/concessions

The British Museum        Symposium Flyer

About the Symposium

In early modern Japan, 1600-1900, thousands of sexually explicit works of art were produced, known as ‘spring pictures’ (shunga). Tim Clark is currently curating at the British Museum a major shunga exhibition, which celebrates this often tender, funny and beautiful erotic art-form, produced by some of the great masters of Japanese art such as Utamaro and Hokusai. Shunga is in some ways a unique phenomenon in pre-modern world culture, in terms of the quantity, the quality and the nature of the art that was produced. Showing some key works from the exhibition, Tim will explore important questions about what is shunga, how it circulated and to whom, and why it was produced. In particular, he will introduce the social and cultural contexts for sex art in Japan, reaffirming the significance of shunga in Japanese art history.

Includes content of a sexually explicit nature; parental guidance advised for under 16s.

About the Speaker

About the curator: Tim Clark is Head of the Japanese Section in the Department of Asia at the British Museum. He has authored and co-authored many books about aspects of Japanese art, including ukiyo-e painting, Kyōsai, Utamaro, early ukiyo-e, images of Mt Fuji, Hokusai, Osaka ukiyo-e and Kuniyoshi. He curated and wrote the catalogue for the 2009 exhibition Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection, held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 2011 he published a small monograph for British Museum Press, Hokusai’s Great Wave. Clark is curator of the exhibition and co-editor, with C. Andrew Gerstle, Aki Ishigami and Akiko Yano of the catalogue Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art (2013).

Friday 4 October 2013

Morning session: Laughing with Shunga
MC: Tim Clark, The British Museum

10.00 | Introduction: Tim Clark
10.15 | Hayakawa Monta (Nichibunken): The Laughter of Warai-e
10.45 | Joshua Mostow (University of British Columbia): Making Fun of the Classics
11.15 | Break
11.30 | Kano Hiroyuki (Dōshisha University): Humour in Japanese Art and Shunga
Discussant: Andrew Gerstle, SOAS

12.30 | Lunch

Afternoon session: Women and Shunga
MC: Akiko Yano, SOAS

14.00 | Ishigami Aki (Ritsumeikan University): What Does Shunga Offer Women Today?
14.30 | Rosina Buckland (National Museum of Scotland): Women Readers and Shunga
15.00 | Break
15.15 | Paul Berry (Kansai Gaidai University): Gender Roles in Early Shunga Painting
Discussant: Christine Guth, RCA/V&A

16.30 | Finish

18.30 | Special public lecture (in association with Japan400)
MC: Tim Clark, BM
Speaker: Timon Screech (SOAS): Shunga and the World
** Please note the special lecture is a ticketed event, £5 admission, £3 Members/concessions

Book tickets

Saturday 5 October 2013

Morning session: Modern Legacies of Shunga
MC: Andrew Gerstle, SOAS

10.00 | Henry D Smith II (Emeritus, Columbia University): Shunga in the Meiji Era
10.30 | Kinoshita Naoyuki (University of Tokyo): Shunga versus ‘The Nude’ in Modern Japan
11.00 | Break
11.15 | Ricard Bru (Barcelona City Council Culture Institute): Secret Japonisme
Discussant: Julie Peakman, Birkbeck College, University of London

12.15 General discussion
13.00 Finish

Organised by the British Museum and SOAS, University of London
Supported by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the Sainsbury Institute, the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee and Japan Foundation

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