June 09, 2016
August 07, 2016
Honolulu Museum of Art
The introduction of photography was a pivotal moment in the modernization of Japanese art at the end of the 19th century. In an attempt to replicate the vibrancy of polychromatic woodblock prints (nishiki-e), some of the pioneers of Japanese photography, including Felice Beato (1832–1909) and Charles Wirgman (1832–1891), both foreigners living in the port city of Yokohama, popularized the production of albumen prints, to which pigments could be later applied.
This rotation includes hand-colored albumen prints by a variety of artists active in eastern Japan during the Meiji period (1868–1911): Japanese nationals, foreign residents, and several anonymous artists. The photographs are divided into genres that underscore their similarities to Japanese woodblock prints: portraits of women (bijin-ga), landscapes and architecture (fūkei-ga), views of the Yoshiwara brothel district (a combination of the previous two genres), and images of daily life (fūzoku-ga).