Friday, February 29, 2008
Utagawa Hiroshige, One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo: A Sudden Shower at Ôhashi Bridge near Atake
Night Views in Ukiyo-e
Exhibition at the Ôta Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo
Night views can often be seen in ukiyo-e as a popular subject. Since old times, Japanese people have consciously captured the change between day and night, and that was written in some of famous poems [sic]. The developed light began to be easily used in the modern age moderated the fear of dark. Night enjoyments of the cherry-blossom viewing at night, fireworks, firefly catching, and moon viewing became popular among the people. We display pictures of enjoyments, the daily life at night in Edo, and night scenes of travels depicted by Kiyonaga, Kunisada, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Kuniyoshi and others. In spite of night-view pictures, most of those artists expressed objects as the houses and people brightly like the day time. The Western gas lamp was imported after the Meiji period, which affords people to get the bright lighting like the midday. The expression of night views became changed. In this exhibition, we introduce about 70 pictures made between the Edo period and the modern age to see how people spent their night or what the difference of the expression between the Edo period and after the Meiji period was. Please enjoy the taste of night views in the foretime.
(Text taken from the website of the Museum)