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Change of Exhibits, Regular Exhibitions: Starting from June 28, 2022 (Tue)

Regular exhibitions at Tokyo National Museum are rotated almost every week. This page provides the latest information on the change of exhibits.
* Some works are exhibited for a longer period of time.

Japanese Gallery (Honkan)

 Image of "Paintings on Folding Screens and Sliding Doors | 16th–19th century" 
Room 7  June 28, 2022 (Tue) - August 7, 2022 (Sun)

The paintings here were not just for looking at — they served many other purposes, even that of furniture. Sliding doors divided rooms, while folding screens could be placed anywhere to create private spaces, reduce draftiness, or hide items from view. Sometimes artisans decorated the paintings with gold leaf, which reflected light and helped to brighten dim interiors.

 

A painting could also change the mood of a room. Ink paintings might create a relaxed or meditative atmosphere. Ones with bright colors and gold leaf might evoke an extravagant feel. The subject matter and style of a painting could also reflect the formality of a room, the current season, and the tastes of the owner. This gallery surrounds visitors with large–scale paintings to show how they create different moods.

 Image of "Painting and Calligraphy | 16th–19th century" 
Room 8  June 28, 2022 (Tue) - August 7, 2022 (Sun)

A thriving economy, foreign trade, and better education invigorated painting and calligraphy. Previously, ruling classes like the samurai and court nobility were the main patrons of art. But in the Edo period (1603–1868), more people started to benefit from the economy. Successful merchants in particular gained the wealth to support artists and buy their works.

 

Many painters continued working in traditional styles, while others started looking to outside sources for inspiration. Paintings and painting manuals imported from China were one source. Another was the books and prints that traders brought from Europe, which showed techniques like realistic shading and perspective. As a result, painting in Japan became more diverse in style and subject matter.

 

Meanwhile, the ancient custom of writing with a brush and ink continued. The literacy rate increased dramatically as schools for different social classes were established, particularly in cities and towns. The publishing industry thrived and more people took up the art of calligraphy.

Asian Gallery (Toyokan)

 Image of "Textiles of the Qing Dynasty" 
Room 5  June 28, 2022 (Tue) - September 19, 2022 (Mon)

Combining artistic brilliance with technical precision, textiles from China’s Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) feature detailed imagery that rivals the art of painting. All the decorative motifs on these textiles have auspicious meanings. One of the most prominent motifs is the peony flower, which symbolizes wealth and high social standing. This exhibition presents auspicious textiles for a variety of uses, including clothing, hanging scrolls, and a sacred Buddhist text, with special attention given to works with embroidery and compound-weave techniques.

 Image of "Painting and Calligraphy of the Qing Dynasty Court" 
Room 8  June 28, 2022 (Tue) - September 19, 2022 (Mon)

At the Qing dynasty court, which ruled China from the late 17th to the early 20th century, a wide variety of paintings and calligraphy was produced and appreciated. This exhibition introduces some of the brilliant artworks and intellectual climate of the imperial Qing court, including works by emperors and other members of the imperial family, courtiers who passed the imperial examinations and served the Ming and Qing dynasties, and portraits of courtiers.

 Image of "Asian Textiles: Textiles of Indonesia" 
Room 13  June 28, 2022 (Tue) - September 19, 2022 (Mon)

This gallery currently features the many striking textile techniques of the islands of Indonesia, with special emphasis on batik, a wax-resist dying technique. There are two techniques to make batik cloth. One is to draw patterns of beeswax lines directly on cotton cloth using a tool called a canting. The other is to stamp repeating patterns onto cotton cloth using a beeswax-coated copper stamp called a cap. Once the designs are marked in beeswax, the cloth is dipped in indigo blue, madder red, or sogan brown dye and only the wax-covered portions remain white. In addition to batik cloths, this gallery is also displaying Indonesian textiles for use in celebratory ceremonies featuring warp ikat, glittering songket (supplementary weft patterning in metallic threads), and brocade.