Zuan: Japanese Design Books

The Pavilion for Japanese Art, Level 3
July 5, 2014–October 12, 2014

Zuan, a form of elaborately printed Japanese design book, reflect an evolution in textile design that influenced the art of kimono in the 20th century. For example, the exhibition includes zuan design books produced in Kyoto that display startling color combinations, large-scale patterns, and edgy abstracts that pushed kimono fabric designers to new considerations that influenced both formal and informal kimono. Zuan were also referenced by decorative artists for media whose designs were more graphic in nature, such as fans, lacquer wares, ceramics with overglaze enamels, or cloisonné. The exhibition includes more than 50 books and prints dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Image: Momoyogusa (A World of Things), Kamisaka Sekka (Japan, 1866–1942), 1909/1910, Set of (three) woodblock printed albums; ink and colors on paper, 11 7/8 x 8 7/8 in. (30.16 x 22.54 cm) each, East Asian Art Council Fund (M.2005.78a-c).