Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Bookcase Tour Tuesday - East & West

I finally got back onto Kimono Reincarnate's Bookcase Tour Tuesday bandwagon.

This week's book is a catalogue from a fascinating exhibit that I was somewhat disappointed by. The catalogue, however, is gorgeous! (I apologize for the quality of the photos, I'm playing around with my brand-new baby, and with the low light the close-ups didn't turn out as well as I would have hoped)

The exhibit - Self and Other: Portraits from Asia and Europe, had a fascinating idea, contrasting portraits from Asia and Europe:
(Asia doesn't just mean Japan, there was artwork from China, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka...)

their leaders

of self

of the other (before contact)

of other at start of contact

of changing self as a result of contact

and of other again

The exhibit was disappointing in that it didn't go far enough for my liking - it didn't begin to raise all the questions I was hoping it would raise. The catalogue, however, in addition to all the images, and unlike many Japanese museum catalogues, has a large number of academic articles (that I have yet to read fully, I admit) that look interesting and intriging.


  1. What a shame this exhibition didn't live up to what it could have been. I always meant to get to this one. The catalogue looks great though, lots of gorgeous eye candy!

  2. It was a shame - the exhibit looked so promising, but left me confused particularly about the goal of the exhibit. I do remember hearing from a friend who had seen it at a different venue (I saw it in Yokohama) and she LOVED it, and given the excellent catalogue, I'm guessing the venue was the biggest problem.

  3. It does look fascinating! I hope you have a chance to read the articles. It sounds like the real depth is to be found in them.
    I love the image of the woman in the fifth last photo - intriguing!

  4. Momijitomitsukoshi - I'm currently reading a guidebook to Indonesia (and making plans!) but I promise this catalogue is next in my to-read pile.

    The picture you mentioned, of the woman in the kimono, is from 1872, an oil painting by the Japanese painter Takahashi Yuichi. Something about her face intrigues me.