Travelling Exhibition “Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke”

Travelling Exhibition “Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke”

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Opening: Wed 24 Jan Fri 26 Jan 2018, 6 pm
Exhibition: 24 Jan 26 Jan – 15 Mar 2018, 8.30 am – 6 pm
(closed for Vietnamese Tet holidays from 13 – 21 Feb)
Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam

From Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam:

In celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Vietnam in 2018, The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, in cooperation with Embassy of Japan in Vietnam proudly present the travelling exhibition “Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke”. The exhibition takes place from 24th 26th of January to 15th of March, 2018 at Exhibition Halls at The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange, located on No 27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

“Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke”, our new traveling exhibition, is an innovative contemporary crafts exhibition presenting 65 works by contemporary netsuke carvers and artists. A netsuke is a non-slip toggle that has been used since the Edo period (1603-1868) to secure the small personal items such as money pouches, inro-(medicine container), or tobacco containers worn suspended on cords from the obi (a sash worn with kimono). These practical objects were created by and for the common people and greatly enjoyed by them. As Western clothing was adopted from the Meiji period (1868-1911) on, however, netsuke disappeared from daily life in Japan. Meanwhile, with the interest in Japonisme in Europe and America in the late nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, netsuke came to be exported in large numbers and were highly regarded as art or craft objects in other countries. In Japan, meanwhile, some netsuke enthusiasts and carvers managed to keep the tradition alive. Since the 1970s, a new genre, contemporary netsuke, has taken shape, inspired by new sensibilities and ideas. Today, contemporary netsuke carvers continue to ply their craft, steadily producing to new works.

This exhibition focuses on contemporary netsuke. We hope that visitors will explore the subtle and highly artistic skills, and playfulness, embodied in netsuke and consider the practicality and charm of netsuke today, when they are not longer part of everyday life. The netsuke has been called a tactile craft. Nare in Japanese, and perhaps patina in English, changes that arise over time from actually touching them, is regarded as a distinctive resonance that makes netsuke rich and vital. To communicate the essence of the netsuke, this exhibition thus also includes works that visitors can actually pick up and hold the palms of their own hands. It is our hope that you will experience the warmth characteristic of natural wood and the beauty lodged in netsuke with the passage of time.

This exhibition is designed so that people, regardless of time or place, can savor tactile encounters with others and think of them through these works. We hope that as it tours, netsuke will take on a new practical role as a ”toggle”, connecting Japan and the world.

Free of admission

Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam
27 Quang Trung
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Tel: 3944 7419


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