Review of the exhibition Japanomania in the Nordic Countries, 1875-1918 which opened at the Helsinki Ateneum Museum February 18, 2016. The exhibition examined over 400 works in all media that revealed how the mania for all things Japanese shaped Nordic aesthetics at the turn of the century. The exhibition goes on to Oslo and Copenhagen through 2017, and it has a catalogue published in five separate language editions with the English version being distributed by Yale University Press.
Miriam Wattles recounts the making of Hanabusa Itchō (1652-1724), painter, haikai-poet, singer-songwriter, and artist subversive, in
The Life and Afterlives of Hanabusa Itchō, Artist-Rebel of Edo. Translating literary motifs visually to encapsulate the tensions of his time, many of Itchō’s original works became models emulated by ukiyo-e and other artists. A wide array of sources reveals a lifetime of multiple personas and positions that are the source of his multifarious artistic reincarnations. While, on the one hand, his legend as seditious exile appears in the fictional cross-media worlds of theater, novels, and prints, on the other hand, factual accounts of his complicated artistic life reveal an important figure within the first artists’ biographies of early modern Japan.