EDO: Arts of Japan's Last Shogun Age at the AGA

November 3-Feburary 1 at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Take in the armour, lacqerware and Ukiyo-e on display and catch two of our fantastic professors give public talks on: Art of the Rulers: The Kano and Tosa Schools with Professor Walter Davis, Wednesday, November 7, 7 pm Life of the Samurai: Armour, Swords and Images with Professor Mikael Adolphson, Wednesday, November 21, 7 pm

11 October 2012

Check out the info page at youraga.ca

November 7, 2012, 7:00 pm:

Art of the Rulers: The Kano and Tosa Schools

This talk will focus on art patronized by the military leaders (Shoguns) and the Emperor. During the Edo period, Japan was ruled by the Shoguns, while the Emperor and his family became figureheads with no real power. Over the years, these groups became associated with different schools of artists. The Shoguns patronized the Kano School, whose imported Chinese themes and techniques suited their claims to political and moral authority. The court of the Emperor patronized the Tosa School, whose traditional Japanese themes and approaches expressed the cultural prestige of the court.

Professor Walter Davis is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Art and Design and East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta. Professor Davis' recent publications include "Welcoming the Japanese Art World: Wang Yiting's Social and Artistic Exchanges with Japanese Sinophiles and Artists" in The Role of Japan in Modern Chinese Art (forthcoming).

November 21, 2012, 7:00 pm:

Life of the Samurai: Armour, Swords and Images

During the Edo period (1600-1868), Japan was ruled by a hereditary class of samurai, who made up about 7 percent of the population. The samurai owed loyalty to their daimyo (warlord), who in turn was under the jurisdiction of the Shogun. Edo Japan was, in other words, a strictly hierarchical society, where the samurai wielded considerable political power regardless of their individual wealth, rank or position. Farmers, merchants and artisans were, by and large, at the mercy of the samurai who could put any disrespectful commoner to death on the spot. The exhibition EDO: Arts of Japan's Last Shogun Age features numerous images of samurai and also samurai objects, such as swords and elaborate armour.

Mikael Adolphson is a professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta. His classes include "The Samurai in Japanese Culture," and he recently published The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sōhei in Japanese History (2007).

December 5, 2012, 7:00 pm:

Love and Profit: Ukiyo-e, Art for the Merchant Class with exhibition curator Barry Till

Ukiyo-e prints were an exciting new art form that developed in the Edo period and were primarily sold to merchants. According to exhibition curator Barry Till, "for the first time in Japanese history, the common merchant class brought about a shift in Japanese cultural dynamics…The images wonderfully illustrate the conspicuous consumption by this class, showing their penchants for short-lived trends and fads as well as the human desire for love and profit."

Barry Till is the exhibition curator and Curator of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, which houses one of the finest Japanese art collections in North America.