Open until 4 Feb 2024
Admission is FREE
Japanese artist Takahashi Hiromitsu creates dynamic, colourful prints showing exciting moments in kabuki, Japan’s traditional dance-drama.
Hiromitsu’s striking designs are not portraits of actual actors, but visualisations of famous kabuki roles.
In kabuki, performers wearing elaborate costumes and make-up use stylised movement and song to enact melodramatic stories about love, loyalty and the clash between duty and emotion.
Gojōbashi Benkei and Gojōbashi Ushiwaka by Takahashi Hiromitsu, 1998
The works recall Japan’s traditional ukiyo-e woodblock actor prints, but are made using a different technique – kappazuri, or stencil printing, originally used for dyeing kimono. This process is complex and labour-intensive and Hiromitsu is one of very few artists working in this way today.
This exhibition showcases a selection of these unusual prints from the Ashmolean's own extensive collection of Hiromitsu's work, generously presented by Philip Harris.
Images in page header above and below all © Hiromitsu Takahashi / The Tolman Collection