SINGAPORE - Here are five highlights from the Asian Civilisations Museum's Life In Edo | Russel Wong In Kyoto, which opens on Friday (April 16).
1. Series of four scroll paintings
Beauty And Cat by Motohiro, 1830 to 1844
Child Holding A Dog by Kikukawa Eizan, around 1810
Beauty Under Cherry Blossoms by Mihata Jyoryu, 1820 to 1844
Beauty And Dog by Mihata Jyoryu, 1830 to 1844
This series of paper scroll paintings by ukiyo-e artists demonstrate their fine draughtsmanship. These hand-painted scrolls were usually commissioned by patrons.
2. Set of woodblacks and two test prints of South Wind, Clear Sky
The Kyoto Hanga Institute, mid-20th century
This set of carved blocks were made to reprint Hokusai's famous Red Fuji print. Ukiyo-e is created in an assembly line process with the artists envisioning the images, skilled artisans carving the woodblocks and printers assembling the final product.
3. Nihonbashi: Morning Scene, from Fifty-three Stations Of The Tokaido Road
Nihonbashi is the starting point of the 483km road that links Edo to Kyoto. This print marks the midpoint of the exhibition, as it is displayed in an alcove opposite photographer Russel Wong's photograph of Sanjo Bridge, the end point of the road.
4. Geiko Sayaka
Geiko Sayaka is captured after her Erikae ceremony, a two-week affair during which an apprentice maiko becomes a geiko. As part of the ceremony, her collar (eri) is changed from red to white.
A closeup of a geiko's tinted lips, without digital touch-ups as can be seen from the slight bleeding of the lip tint and and skin texture. Wong's high fashion background is evident in the way he zooms in on this very feminine subject.