September 29, 2018–January 24, 2019
After Japan opened its doors to the modern world in 1868, a radical transformation ensued, soon making its way to the arts. New technologies, including photography, led to the collapse of the traditional woodblock-printing industry. In response, printmakers began to adapt their medium in both style and subject matter, responding to the country’s fast-paced evolution. Those who embraced photography used the camera to capture their own views of Japan in flux.
Japan Modern comprises two exhibitions that trace Japan’s response to modernity—one through prints, one through photography. Along with their time period, the displays are linked by a focus on place, showing how artists sought to understand a changing Japan through their work. Together, these exhibitions offer multiple perspectives on a vital era, as well as a glimpse of the Freer|Sackler’s significant new collections of modern Japanese art.