Making Modern Japanese-style Painting: Kano Hogai And The Search For Images by Chelsea FoxwellMaking Modern Japanese-style Painting: Kano Hogai And The Search For Images by Chelsea Foxwell

Making Modern Japanese-style Painting: Kano Hogai And The Search For Images

byChelsea Foxwell

Hardcover | July 20, 2015

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The Western discovery of Japanese paintings at nineteenth-century world’s fairs and export shops catapulted Japanese art to new levels of international popularity. With that popularity, however, came criticism, as Western writers began to lament a perceived end to pure Japanese art and a rise in westernized cultural hybrids. The Japanese response: nihonga, a traditional style of painting that reframed existing techniques to distinguish them from Western artistic conventions. Making Modern Japanese-Style Painting explores the visual characteristics and social functions of nihonga and traces its relationship to the past, its viewers, and emerging notions of the modern Japanese state.

Chelsea Foxwell sheds light on interlinked trends in Japanese nationalist discourse, government art policy, American and European commentary on Japanese art, and the demands of export. The seminal artist Kano Hogai (1828–88) is one telling example: originally a painter for the shogun, his art eventually evolved into novel, eerie images meant to satisfy both Japanese and Western audiences. Rather than simply absorbing Western approaches, nihonga as practiced by Hogai and others broke with pre-Meiji painting even as it worked to neutralize the rupture.

By arguing that fundamental changes to audience expectations led to the emergence of nihonga—a traditional interpretation of Japanese art for a contemporary, international market—Making Modern Japanese-Style Painting offers a fresh look at an important aspect of Japan’s development into a modern nation.
Chelsea Foxwell is assistant professor of art history at the University of Chicago.
Title:Making Modern Japanese-style Painting: Kano Hogai And The Search For ImagesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 11 × 8.5 × 1.1 inPublished:July 20, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022611080X

ISBN - 13:9780226110806


Table of Contents

Notes to the Reader
Introduction: Nihonga and the Historical Inscription of the Modern

1 Exhibitions and the Making of Modern Japanese Painting
2 In Search of Images
3 The Painter and His Audiences
4 Decadence and the Emergence of Nihonga Style
5 Naturalizing the Double Reading
6 Transmission and the Historicity of Nihonga


Editorial Reviews

“Skillfully bridging the late Edo and Meiji periods, Foxwell has made a major contribution to new art historical scholarship. Questioning any facile overlay of political transformations onto the world of art, as well as conventional notions of Japanese cultural authenticity, she adeptly demonstrates that the highly diverse nineteenth-century Japanese art world was already undergoing massive changes that cannot simply be attributed to the implementation of a top-down governmental system. Her meticulous research is coupled with an impressively broad consideration of larger epistemological questions that make this a valuable text for all scholars and students interested in modern Japan during this period.”