JAPAN - THE FLOATING WORLD
October 26 through November 25, 2009
The College of Fine Arts & Communication (COFAC) at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (UWSP) is presenting a special art exhibition and a month-long series of lectures, workshops, films, and performances examining the culture and history of Japan. Visiting artists and scholars from around the country with special expertise in Japanese art, theatre, and culture will be featured in "COFAC Creates: Japan – The Floating World.
The centerpiece of this interdisciplinary effort is a unique collection of 18th-19th century Japanese woodblock prints from the Utagawa School that will be exhibited in the Edna Carlsten Gallery of the Noel Fine Arts Center (NFAC) on the UWSP campus from October 26 through November 25. The collection is on loan from the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison.
"The concept of the floating world, ukiyo, derives originally from Buddhist notions of impermanence," according to Cortney Chaffin, a UWSP East Asian art historian who is coordinating the program. "Mass-produced ukiyo-e images served as the earliest form of market-driven graphic art."
"During the Tokugawa period (1603-1868), images of the floating world represented the pleasure quarters, kabuki theaters, and commercialized urban culture," added Valerie Barske, a UWSP East Asian historian.
Appreciation of the prints and a better understanding of Japanese culture will be highlighted in a series of notable events throughout the month. Experts from universities in Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will present lectures and workshops on printmaking and the historical importance of Japanese art. An Asian theatre professor from UW-Madison will demonstrate and discuss kabuki theatre makeup and character movements. In addition, an award-winning law professor and speaker from the University of San Diego will offer his insights on race based on his perspective as a Japanese American.
This event was made possible through the generous support of the College of Fine Arts & Communication, the University Library, the Edna Carlsten Gallery, a College of Letters and Science Enhancement Grant, the Chancellor's Office, the Provost's Office, International Studies, International Programs, the Division of Communication, the Central Wisconsin Initiative, the Design Center, and the Departments of Art & Design, History, and Foreign Languages.