Since Jeff and I moved into our NYC apartment, furnishing and decorating the apartment has been a little slow. We are close to having the place fully furnished but have so far not done very much as far as decorating. So this past weekend Jeff and I went to the Ronin Gallery to purchase some Japanese art to decorate with.
For our apartment we wanted Japanese prints known as Ukiyo-e. Famous artists of this genre our Hiroshige, Hokusai, and Yoshitoshi. Hokusai’s famous print of the Great Wave is featured above.
At the gallery they currently had an exhibit of Yoshitoshi’s, 100 Views of the Moon. Yoshitoshi’s work is more recent then Hiroshige or Hokusai and we learned that Yoshitoshi often wondered whether he had been too late to make it as a famous Ukiyo-e artist.
Many of the prints we liked from this artist had a red dot over the price meaning that it had been sold. Boo!
I personally do not know a lot about Ukiyo-e, but Jeff did a lot of reading before hand and the curator and co-founder of the Ronin Gallery, Roni Neuer, was very helpful in showing us what to look for when starting a collection.
Roni sat us down at a table for some green tea, of course, and we looked at a variety of Hiroshige prints.
First off we looked at what designs caught our attention the most. These tended to be landscapes with some characters in them. We looked at the state of the print which determined how early the print was. Several prints were made of each design and in the earliest prints you can even see the wood grain. Very cool.
We of course also looked at how well the color had been preserved over time. One of the first colors to fade is yellow. So if we could still see vibrant yellows in the print, we knew it was a good one.
We now have three ukiyo-e pieces in our collection. We got two Hiroshige pieces from what Roni showed us. One being a Hiroshige rain scene and the other a landscape. We also found a Yoshitoshi from the exhibit that caught our eye.
When speaking with Roni, I told her I was a mixed media artist and she told me all about their next exhibit True Colors. On my birthday a Japanese mixed media and collage artist, Sebastian Masuda, will be there for the opening. He designs many of the sets for Katy Perry concerts and is really big in Japan right now. What a perfect birthday activity.
Sebastian Masudo’s “Colorful Rebellion” If this is any indication of what Ronin Gallery will look like, I can’t wait to see it!