In English, please… Live-Speaker at GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig

By: Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde Culture

Starts at 1:00pm on Saturday 12th September 2020 // Ends at 1:00pm on Saturday 12th September 2020

Our Live-Speaker presents the exhibition “ Scenes of Life – A Japanese Screen and its Hi/stories” in English. Just get in touch, discuss and ask questions.

25.07. / 15.08. / 29.08. / 12.09. /  13:00 – 16:00

Scenes of Life – A Japanese Screen and its Hi/stories

A Japanese screen (»byōbu«) picturing „Scenes on Shijō Street Near the River Bank“ from the beginning of the 17th century not only makes for a central exhibition topic but is as well a documentary medium. Japan, early 17th century. Life is throbbing on Shijō-Street in Kyoto. A porter is hurrying through the passage in between theatre stages, people are sharing picknicks, other watch the dancer with their fans, a woman is making small rice pies at her stall near the river. These miniature scenes of theatre pleasures and daily business are displayed on an object, indeed very special, held in the Japan-collection GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde at Leipzig: it is a so-called byōbu – a bi-winged screen, which was taken to the museum in 1891. Recently it was restored and will be visible in a special exhibition starting in April 2020. The screen is in fact a hidden object game, allowing us to glimpse into Japan of the early Edo period (1603 – 1868). Clothes, haircuts, musical instruments and every day objects are displayed realistically, and the way the figures interact or pass by each other vividly tells us about society in the then capital city of the Japanese empire. In Western perception such screens are among those objects that are associated as „typically Japanese“ since the somewhat nostalgic enthusiasm for Japan in the late 19th century – the so-called japonism. It is an object which is one the hand used as furniture, on the other serves as a picture portraying social status, handicraft and style of home furnishing. In this way it equally disclosed and hides something.

   opening hours daily: 10am – 6pm, mondays closed

   admission charge: 6 / 4€ (for the exhibition)

   On 1st wednesdays of the month admission free


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© GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Martin Lutze