Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905

Start:
October 6
End:
January 7, 2018
Category:
Contact:
Allison Portnow
Phone:
919-843-3687
aportnow@email.unc.edu
Venue:
Ackland Art Museum
Phone:
9199665736
Address:
101 S Columbia Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
Audience:
Tags:
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When modern war technologies, such as long-range ammunition, torpedoes, and electric searchlights, were introduced into the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War at the turn of the 20th century, Japanese printmakers documenting battle scenes skillfully adapted the centuries-old techniques of ukiyo-e (woodblock printing) to achieve altogether new atmospheric and light effects. The Ackland’s exhibition Flash of Light, Fog of War examines how these printmakers created dynamic compositions—soldiers silhouetted against fiery pyrotechnic explosions, beams of bright white electrical light illuminating the hulls of steel warships, and the haze of spent gunpowder obscuring the brutal combat of the battlefield—that were part reportage and part dazzling artistic display.

Bairin, Japanese, active 1894: Naval Battle at the Kaiyo Islands in Korea, 1894; color woodblock print triptych. Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Gene and Susan Roberts Collection, 2014.40.52a-c.