Representation of Japanese Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)

  • Chiaki Ajioka
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 11)

I worked at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as the Curator of Japanese Art from 1996 to 2003. The State Gallery is the most active in Australia in collecting and presenting Asian art and my appointment as a specialist curator of Japanese art was the first in the country. During the 7 years that followed, I was extremely fortunate to be involved in significant changes in the representation and reception of the art of my native culture. The following is my personal account of those changes and my involvement in it.

In terms of Japanese art exhibitions, the period covered the 1998 exhibition, ‘Modern Boy, Modern Girl: Modernity in Japanese Art 1910–1935’, followed by ‘Light Pictures: the Photographs of Nakayama Iwata and Nojima Yasuzō’ (1999), ‘Hanga: Japanese Creative Prints’ (2000), ‘Heroes and Villains from Japan’s Floating World’ (2001), ‘100 Views of Mount Fuji’ (2002) and ‘Seasons: the Beauty of Transience in Japanese Art’ (2003). In addition, ‘Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr & Mrs John D Rockefeller 3rd Collection of the Asia Society’ (1999) and ‘Buddha: the Radiant Awakening’ (2001/02) also included Japanese works of art.

Apart from exhibitions, the presentation of Japanese art at the Gallery includes the permanent display in the Japan Gallery, a lunchtime lecture series and other activities organized by the Public Programmes Department of the Gallery. To present an analysis of overall activities is beyond the scope of this chapter; however, I will restrict the following discussion to my personal involvement.


Japanese People Cherry Blossom Japanese Sword Craft Movement Renaissance Painting 
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  1. Hawkins, S. 1998. The Daily Telegraph. July, p. 18.Google Scholar
  2. Clarke, A. 1998. The Qantas Club. July, p. 31.Google Scholar

Further Reading.

  1. Ajioka, C. (ed.) 2000. Hanga: Japanese Creative Prints. Art Gallery of New South Wales.Google Scholar
  2. Art Gallery of New South Wales 2001. Heroes and Villains from Japan's Floating World. Sydney, Australia.Google Scholar
  3. Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003. Seasons: The Beauty of Transience in Japanese Art. Sydney, Australia.Google Scholar
  4. Clark, T. 2001. 100 Views of Mount Fuji, London: British Museum.Google Scholar
  5. International Cultural Corporation of Australia Limited 1982. Japan: Masterpieces from the Idemitsu Collection. Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  6. Menzies, J. (ed.) 1998. Modern Boy, Modern Girl: Modernity in Japanese Art 1910–1935. Sydney, Australia: Art Gallery of New South Wales.Google Scholar
  7. Wheelwright, C. (ed.) 1989. Word in Flower: The Visualization of Classical Literature in Seventeenth-Century Japan. New Haven, CT: Yale University Art Gallery.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiaki Ajioka

There are no affiliations available

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