Saturday, December 29, 2007

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

On our anniversary, we treated ourselves to an exhibition in the Chester Beatty Library - One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, an exhibition of Japanese woodblock prints by Yoshitoshi, one of the last masters of the art.

I had heard about this exhibition on The View, which I don't watch on television, but on the web. Very handy, as I can skip the bits I'm not interested in.

I had never been to the Chester Beatty Library before. It used to be on Schrewsbury Road (same as the Belgian embassy), which was awkward to get to if you don't have a car, so it probably didn't get that many tourists. It is now situated in the grounds of Dublin Castle, right in the city centre. Yet, it was fairly quiet on our visit. Dublin Castle has plenty more to offer (as you can see from the link, there is even a Norman tower from 1226!), but we headed straight to the Chester Beatty, as we didn't have that much time. There is a lovely garden and mini garden maze at the back, which we'll explore in the summer - one of these lovely oases (is that the right plural for oasis?) in Dublin, like Trinity College or the Iveagh Gardens, just behind the National Concert Hall.

This temporary exhibition is situated in a little room upstairs. When the door closes, you feel like you've just stepped into a dark temporal rift - it's very quiet and the dark orange light gives the room an eerie feeling. But the prints - oh the prints, they are so gorgeous, they make my heart sing - they stand out in this light and you can admire them in their colorful and fresh glory. A lot of this series of prints are quite modern - very striking shapes and colours, like this one, of the Edo firebrigade! I found this picture on the site of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Have a look at their online gallery for plenty more views of Yoshitoshi's beautiful work. I'd also recommend you click on the Series link, which includes a series called "New Forms of the Thirty-six Ghosts"!

All 100 prints are shown in this exhibition (I think), and it's hard to take them all in. I bought the book in the library's shop. It is good , as a reminder of each print, but the colours don't sing with the same intensity as the real thing. I'll leave you with another picture, called Moon at Yamaki Mansion, which I love for its strong zigzag composition.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:55 am

    From Shane McCausland (Curator of the East Asian Collections, Chester Beatty Library): thanks for visiting, and come again soon!