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Events - 02.22.2021

Curator's Talk :

Visions of this World and Beyond in Japanese Woodblock Print


02.22.2021 (Mon.) - 05.31.2021 (Mon.)


JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel



This online lecture by Meher McArthur, Art & Cultural Director of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles and curator of the exhibition NATURE/SUPERNATURE, provides an introduction to the new exhibition at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. She examines the history of woodblock printing in Japan, the main steps of the printing process and the importance of the art form in Japanese traditional culture. Using images from the exhibition (all from the collection of Scripps College in Claremont, CA), McArthur explores the ways some of Japan’s most renowned artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries used this art form to depict aspects of nature and the supernatural. Artists such as Hokusai, Hiroshige and Hasui, for example, illustrated Japan’s most beautiful landscapes in this medium, while others, like Kunisada and Yoshitoshi, used it to portray some of Japan’s most fascinating spiritual and supernatural beings.

*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.

Recording Available

The recording can be viewed within this event page or on the official JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel.

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Speaker Profile

Meher McArthur joined JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles in September 2020. She is an Asian art historian specializing in Japanese art and served recently as the Academic Curator at Scripps College in Claremont and Creative Director at the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena. Previously, she was Curator of East Asian Art at Pacific Asia Museum (PAM, now USC PAM), also in Pasadena.

Read more.

She has also curated exhibitions for the traveling exhibition company International Arts & Artists (IA&A), including Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (2012-2016) and Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper (from 2021). Her publications include Gods and Goblins: Japanese Folk Paintings from Otsu (PAM, 1999), Reading Buddhist Art (Thames & Hudson, 2002), The Arts of Asia (Thames & Hudson, 2005), Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (IA&A, 2012), New Expressions in Origami Art (Tuttle, 2017), and An ABC of What Art Can Be (The Getty Museum, 2010). She also writes regular articles about Asian art for art publications and websites.

She lives in Pasadena and has a 15-year old son who is teaching her all about anime.

Related Exhibition

The Japanese have long revered their natural landscape, celebrating its bounty and the beauty of the changing seasons in art, literature, travel and annual festivities. The power of nature has also been a central focus in Japanese culture, rooted in the belief that supernatural forces and beings are at work in all aspects of the natural realm. This exhibition of over sixty Japanese prints from the Scripps College collection in Claremont, CA features works by some of Japan’s finest artists including Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Utagawa Kunisada and more.


02.15.2021 - 05.31.2021





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