The Penang State Art Gallery is currently holding the Ukiyo-e exhibition. This would be a great chance for you to experience the woodblock printing techniques from Japan which were produced between the 17th and 20th Centuries respectively. The Ukiyo-e basically means pictures of the floating world and there will be a collection of 75 artworks on display.
Essentially, the artwork on display there will be showcasing several types of motifs which would encompass the likes of landscapes, theatre and pleasure quarters, all of which are unique among one another.
Basically, the Ukiyo-e is the main woodblock printing technique in Japan and it is based on the concept of a world that is evanescent, impermanent and in within a realm of entertainments like the kabuki, geisha and other Japanese traditions which are separated from the real world which is routine, mundane and less exciting.
Much of the popularity of Ukiyo-e stemmed from the artistic interpretations of Hishikawa Mornonobu around the 1670s that used a single-coloured theme. One of the interesting elements about the Ukiyo-e is that they could be mass-produced which makes them very affordable. Its early origins encircled more in city life with a focus in the entertainment industries that used beautiful courtesans and sumo wrestlers as their subject matters respectively.
It would then move on to landscapes while other themes like politics and sexual issues were also used although they were not widely acceptable and those who indulged in these issues were punished and prosecuted.
This group exhibition will be bringing the works of artists like Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Tosyusai Syaraku and Kitagawa Utamaro to our shores and would be an ideal place for you to expand your knowledge not only into some of the most unique printmaking techniques in Asia, but also into learning some of the most compelling art of the world today.