National Gallery of Victoria presents

Japanese Modernism

Visual & Digital / Public Program & Free  ·  Japan

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Dates & times

28 February - 4 October

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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During the first half of the twentieth century Japan’s traditional art and aesthetics interacted with European life and culture, resulting in a pulsating era of Japanese modernism and the creation of Asian Art Deco architecture, paintings, prints, design and fashion.

This exhibition investigates the increasing socially liberated status of Asian women with the inclusion of major works by young female artists of the era and features rare large-scale paintings by young Japanese artists and modernist colour prints produced with the refined techniques of traditional ukiyo-e. The exhibition also features fashion of the era, including women’s and men’s kimonos and related accessories. Popular culture and interior design are represented with beautifully crafted glassware, lacquer ware and bronze ware, as well as street posters, magazines and graphic design.


  • Wheelchair access
  • Highly Visual
Image in header:
Taniguchi Fumie
Women preparing for a party (Yosoō hitobito) 1935
ink and colour on silk
176.8 x 364.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds from the Estate of Kevin and Eunice McDonald and NGV Foundation, 2019
© Estate of Taniguchi Fumie
Image 1 in gallery:
Hisui Sugiura
The first subway in the East 1927
colour lithograph, offset
91.0 x 62.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2018
© Estate of Hisui Sugiura
Image 2 in gallery:
Popular music scores 1928–32
eight pieces
26.3 x 19.0 cm (each)
Purchased with funds donated Maureen Morrissey, 2017