A supreme masterpiece of Japanese printmaking, for the first time, the Art Gallery of NSW will present from its own collection an exhibition displaying the full series of One hundred aspects of the moon by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892).
This remarkable series was published between 1885 and 1892 and is recognised as the artist’s masterwork, designed in the last seven years of his life. Acquired by the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2012 through the Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund, this is the first time that One hundred aspects of the moon will be exhibited in its entirety in Australia.
One hundred aspects of the moon comprises 100 intricately detailed woodblock prints that Yoshitoshi created between 1885 and 1892. Each print is a moment in time and poetically draws from stories relating to the moon in Japanese and Chinese history, famous legends, literature and theatre, as well as folklore. The characters of these stories are diverse, from stoic warriors and samurai to everyday townspeople, courtesans and mythical characters, many expressing a reverence to the moon.
Natalie Seiz, Art Gallery of NSW assistant curator of Asian art said the staging of the complete One hundred aspects of the moon is a rare opportunity to view this extraordinary series by one of the masters of the ukiyo-e genre.
“Yoshitoshi was one of the most admired artists of his time and this exhibition celebrates the impressive technical skill and imaginative designs that have secured his place in art history and as one of the originators of manga and anime,” said Seiz.
Staged in the upper Asian Gallery, One hundred aspects of the moon encompasses the entire exhibition space. Half the works are displayed on freestanding easels as an evocation of the lunar cycle, allowing visitors to experience the magnitude of the entire print series in one place.
Yoshitoshi: One hundred aspects of the moon
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
Exhibition continues to 20 November 2016
For more information, visit: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au for details.
Image: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Dawn moon and tumbling snow – Kobayashi Heihachir? and Moon of pure snow at Asano river – Chikako, the filial daughter from One hundred aspects of the moon, 1885-92. Art Gallery of New South Wales Yasuko Myer bequest Fund 2012 – courtesy of AGNSW