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Upcoming Event

Asia Films: Edo Avant Garde

Jan 20 2020

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

1 PM – 3 PM

Get Tickets

Join us for a screening of this documentary film with director Linda Hoaglund. SAM galleries are open for the holiday, closing at 5pm.

Edo Avant Garde: How Japan Invented Modern Art (Linda Hoaglund, Japan/USA, 2019)

Edo Avant-Garde is a feature documentary film that tells the untold story of the vital role Japanese artists of the Edo era (1603 – 1868) played in pioneering "modern art". During the Edo era, Japan prospered in peaceful isolation from Western powers, while audacious artists innovated abstraction, minimalism, surrealism and the illusion of 3-D. Their originality is most striking in images of the natural world depicted with gold leaf on large-scale folding screens that anticipate 20th century installation art.

In groundbreaking interviews with scholars and priests, the film traces the artists' original visions to their reverence for nature, inspired by Buddhism and Shinto animism. To capture the dynamism of the art, we gained permission to film them in natural light, resurrecting their mesmerizing power.

To capture the dynamism, scale and meticulous details of the art, Japan’s master cinematographer Kasamatsu Norimichi (Japanese Academy Award winner 2014) worked with Sony's cutting-edge 4K camera and filmed two hundred works of art in museums and private collections across the U.S. and Japan, along with remote temples and shrines and in bamboo groves, misted valleys and churning waves that inspired the artists centuries ago. Curators, restorers, collectors and scholars provide insights into the genesis of their mesmerizing, prescient visions.

83 min.

In partnership with the UW East Asia Resource Center, Japan Studies Program, and The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington.

Free with RSVP.

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.