Step into the world of Japanese Kabuki theatre at exhibition

ROCKHAMPTON people can get a glimpse into the dynamic world of Japanese Kabuki theatre from today.

The Stars of the Tokyo stage exhibition will hit the spotlight at the Rockhampton Art Gallery.

The works come from the National Gallery of Australia's collection and it is the first solo exhibition of Natori Shunsen's art to be held outside Japan since the 1930s.

"The collection is of very beautiful and bold Japanese actor portraits made in the 1920s. Kabuki is very vibrant and has engaging plots about murder mayhem, love suicides and tragedies," National Gallery of Australia, Canberra senior curator of Asian art, Robyn Maxwell said.

The artist, who was a painter and cartoonist, made a series of 36 deluxe prints, but the National Gallery of Australia received only 31 of the prints as a gift. After the gallery realised the set had 36, the other five prints were sourced from around the world.

Natori Shunsen (Japan 1886-1960) Ichikawa Sadanji II as Narukami in Narukami' 1926 from the series Collection of creative portraits by Shunsen woodblock print, embossing; ink, colour and mica on paper, 38.0 x 25.8 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2006 Photo Contributed
Natori Shunsen (Japan 1886-1960) Ichikawa Sadanji II as Narukami in Narukami' 1926 from the series Collection of creative portraits by Shunsen woodblock print, embossing; ink, colour and mica on paper, 38.0 x 25.8 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2006 Photo Contributed Contributed

"Over 12 years the prints were tracked down from everywhere, including a dealer in Adelaide, and one in New York."

She said there was a lot of hype surrounding the exhibition in Rockhampton, because the town has such a Japanese interest.

"We are expecting schools to come and have a look as well as those interested in Japan," Ms Maxwell said.

The exhibition is travelling around the country, heading to Tamworth, Melbourne and Cowra, before its finale in Canberra next year.

A floor talk on the exhibition will be given tomorrow at 11am.

Robyn Maxwell (curator) with the Japanese art exhabition at Rockhampton aArt Gallery. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Robyn Maxwell (curator) with the Japanese art exhabition at Rockhampton aArt Gallery. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka


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