|Media only: Ellie Reynolds, 202.633.0521; Lyz Bridgforth, 202.633.0521
Public only: 202.633.1000
Exhibition dates: Opening Feb. 23, 2008. Continuing Indefinitely
Feb. 12, 2008
The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery celebrate the 2008 National Cherry Blossom Festival with a number of events including the final weeks of the acclaimed exhibition “Patterned Feathers, Piercing Eyes: Edo Masters from the Price Collection,” which closes on April 13, also the last day of the festival.
In addition, the galleries will present a special treat this year with a riveting narrative song-style known as joruri, performed by one of Japan’s living national treasures, Tsuruga Wakasanojo, in an exclusive east coast appearance. Wakasanojo will be joined by Tsuruga Isejiro on shamisen and master puppeteer Nishikawa Koryu.
A tradition at the Freer and Sackler galleries continues with the “Sixth Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Anime Marathon” on Saturday, April 5. This year’s event will include a costume show courtesy of the DC Anime Club, and surprise special guests. For film titles and show times visit asia.si.edu.
Children ages eight to fourteen and their adult companions can explore an exhibition and create a related art project to take home during the ImaginAsia family programs, which will have Japanese themes during the festival.
Japanese Arts of the Edo Period, 1615 – 1868, part 2
March 8 – September 7, 2008
The lively metropolis of Edo (modern Tokyo) grew rapidly around the castle of the Tokugawa shoguns and fostered a new popular urban culture that was distinct from the courtly culture of Kyoto, the traditional artistic center of Japan. Many of the arts we regard today as traditional Japanese expressions flourished in the vibrant culture of the Edo period. Paintings, lacquer, and ceramics selected from the collection of the Freer Gallery of Art present a vivid glimpse of the vitality and energy of Edo Japan.
Tea for Everyone: Japanese Popular Ceramics for Tea Drinking
March 9 – Sep. 7, 2008
Representations of ceramics used in the tea ceremony (chanoyu) have tended to focus on tea-drinking activities of the Japanese elite—warriors, nobles, and wealthy merchants—and on the early phase of the practice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This exhibition turns to a later moment in the history of tea, when enjoyment of powdered tea (matcha) became widespread among artisans, townspeople, even farmers. Numerous small, provincial kilns active in the nineteenth century provided attractive, affordable ceramics for preparing and sharing powdered tea. Notably, farmers in northwestern Honshu used large round bowls made at local kilns both for drinking powdered tea and for eating rice. At the same time, another form of tea—steeped tea in the Chinese style, known in Japan as sencha—which had been introduced to Japan by a cultural elite, also became an everyday beverage among a wider swath of society. This exhibition presents tea-leaf storage jars, water jars, tea bowls, tea cups, and tea pots used by people of modest means for sharing tea.
Music From Japan: Ancient Flutes/Modern Percussion
March 1, 4 p.m., Meyer Auditorium*
Pre-concert gallery tour, Arts of Japan, 3:15 .p.m.
Percussionist Yasunori Yamaguchi joins members of the Reigakusha Gagaku Ensemble to perform traditional pieces from the ancient gagaku repertory as well as Takemitsu’s “Seasons” and recently commissioned works for traditional instruments. The ensemble features Mayumi Miyata, a concert hall star who has performed on sho (mouth organ) with the NHK Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic under conductors Seiji Ozawa and Andre Previn. This concert is presented as part of the Music From Japan Festival 2008, taking place in four American cities.
Stefan Hussong, Accordion, with Mike Svoboda, Trombone
March 6, 7:30 p.m., Meyer Auditorium*
Pre-concert gallery tour, Arts of Japan, 6:45 pm
Stefan Hussong’s frequent tours to Japan have inspired composers there to write more than forty works for him. For this concert, Hussong performs his own adaptation of ancient Japanese gagaku music, new works written for him by Keiko Harada and Toshio Hosokawa, and music by Cage, Frescobaldi, and Piazzolla. Hussong won the Record of the Year award from Japan Record Guide, and he has appeared with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.
IMAGINASIA FAMILY PROGRAMS
At ImaginAsia, children ages eight to fourteen and their adult companions explore an exhibition and create a related art project to take home. All workshops take place in the Sackler classroom unless otherwise indicated.
Super Sumi-e Saturdays
March 1, 8 & 15, 2 p.m., ImaginAsia Classroom/Sackler level 2
Begin with a demonstration of sumi-e brush painting in the classroom and then go on a hunt for birds and animals in the Price Collection. You’ll then learn how to do a brush painting of a favorite bird or animal to take home.
Patterned Feathers, Piercing Eyes
March 2, 9, 16 & 30, 2 p.m, ImaginAsia Classroom/Sackler level 2
Search for birds and animals in the Price Collection of Japanese works of art.
In the classroom paint a folding fan to take home.
March 7, 21, & 29, 2 p.m., ImaginAsia Classroom/Sackler level 2
Search for birds and animals in the Price collection of Japanese works of art.
In the classroom make origami birds and animals to take home.
Patterned Feathers, Piercing Eyes: Edo Masters from the Price Collection
Though April 13, 2008, Sackler level 1
Don’t miss this chance to see some of the finest paintings from the Japanese Edo period (1615–1868) in this critically acclaimed exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
Sixth Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Anime Marathon
April 5, Meyer Auditorium*
In celebration of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Freer Gallery of Art, in conjunction with the Japan Information and Cultural Center and Otakorp, Inc., presents a day-long festival of four Japanese Anime films. This year’s event will include a costume show courtesy of the DC Anime Club, and surprise special guests. Please check asia.si.edu for updates to show times.
“Jungle Emperor Leo”
Adapted from a manga comic by the legendary Osamu Tezuka, this charming fable directed by Yoshio Takeuchi is a treat for animal lovers of all ages. Leo, a majestic white lion, rules the jungle at the foot of mysterious Moon Mountain, living in harmony with the other beasts – until humans show up and threaten to shatter their peaceful existence. (1997, 100 min., Rated PG)
“Atagoal: Cat’s Magical Forest”
Hideyoshi is, literally, a fat cat who loves nothing more than gorging himself on tuna and rocking out at the annual town festival in the magical land of Atagoal. He gets into trouble, however, when he accidentally releases the imprisoned Botanical Queen Pileah, who has sinister plans for Hideyoshi and his feline friends. Mizuho Nishikubo’s film is fun for the whole family. (2006, 81 min., suitable for all ages)
“5 Centimeters per Second”
The title of Makoto Shinkai’s wistful coming-of-age film describes the velocity at which cherry blossom petals fall – a metaphor for the impermanence of human relationships that is the theme of its three connected stories. Each story takes place at a different point in the lives of the film’s three main characters, from puppy love thwarted by a family move, to an unrequited teenage crush, to melancholy reminiscences in adulthood. (2007, 62 min., unrated, appropriate for all ages)
“Appleseed: Ex Machina”
The year is 2138. Society is divided between humans and peaceful cyborgs developed to prevent the wars that killed half of the world’s population. But what happens when nefarious forces find a way to make them violent? Inspired by a popular manga comic, Shinji Aramaki’s sci-fi braintwister offers state-of-the-art animation, thrilling action scenes, and a provocative meditation on what our world might become. (2007, 105 min., PG-13)
*Free tickets for all films (limit 2 per person per film) will be distributed beginning at 10:30 a.m., and will be available throughout the day.
Edo Live: Shinnai Narrative Song and Puppetry
April 11, 12 p.m., Lecture-demonstration, Haupt Garden (Rain location: Sackler Level 1)
April 12, 3 p.m., Concert performance, Meyer Auditorium*
Experience the riveting narrative song-style known as joruri, performed by Tsuruga Wakasanojo, one of Japan’s Living National Treasures. In this exclusive East Coast appearance, Tsuruga is joined by master puppeteer Nishikawa Koryu and is accompanied by Tsuruga Isejiro on shamisen.Together, they present contrasting scenes from the Edo-period repertoire, ranging from a woman’s poignant reflections on aging to the comical adventures of the beloved characters Yaji and Kita on their journey to Kyoto. English translations provided. These events are made possible with support from the ID Group.
IMAGINASIA FAMILY PROGRAMS
At ImaginAsia, children ages eight to fourteen and their adult companions explore an exhibition and create a related art project to take home. All workshops take place in the Sackler classroom unless otherwiseindicated.
April 4, 2 p.m., ImaginAsia Classroom/Sackler level 2
Search for birds and animals in the Price collection of Japanese works of art. In the classroom make origami birds and animals to take home.
Anime Artists Workshop
April 5, 1 & 3 p.m., ImaginAsia Classroom/Sackler level 2
April 6, 2 p.m.
Join ImaginAsia’s Anime artists in exploring how contemporary artists draw upon a long Japanese tradition of action drawing to create Anime characters and scenes. Bring your own drawings to share and learn from our artists and each other how to expand your drawing technique.
April 11 & 12, 1-3 p.m., Haupt Garden
Discover images of cherry blossoms in the Price collection of Japanese works of art and paint parasols under the cherry tree beside the moon gate pool in the Haupt garden.
*Free tickets required for films and performances. Two tickets per person are distributed at the Meyer Auditorium one hour before the event on a first come, first served basis. For performances only, up to four tickets per person are available through Ticketmaster beginning at 10a.m. two Mondays before the event.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week, citywide event celebrating spring. The 2008 Festival is March 29 – April 13, and will feature daily cultural performances, sporting events, arts & crafts, demonstrations and other special events. The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the 96th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan.
The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Ave. S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries and their exhibitions, programs and other events, the public is welcome to visit asia.si.edu. For general Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285.