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Sunday, October 14, 2007


'Japan Envisions the West' at Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum began its life as a spectacular Asian art collection and now it is a power player in Asian art—so this should be good. In collaboration with the Kobe City Museum in Japan, an exhibition of 140 objects—some of which have never left Japan—provides a panorama of Japanese attitudes toward Western culture from the 16th to the 19th centuries. We're talking paintings, prints, maps, ceramics, lacquerware, metal, glass, and textiles, plus works from SAM's own stellar collection. (Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, 654-3100. 10 am–5 pm, by donation.)


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If you are going to go the exhibit, come prepared to nap. You basically have two options. Either turn yourself into a work of art by brining a tag you can lay down on the floor next to you to fool passers by into thinking you are a sculpture. Or you could simply take your chances in the Italian room. It seems like a very nice place to nap.

There are in fact a few very nice pieces in the exhibition, but mostly it's overwhelmingly didactic.

And as a didactic exhibition it's utterly pointless. It's hard to imagine how after WWII and Hiroshima and all the rest that has come to past, that quaint japanese attitudes toward the west really matter at all to anybody.

Posted by kinaidos | October 14, 2007 10:48 PM

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