Yoshitoshi and the History of Japanese Flutes

THU, MAY 21, 2015 (52:33)

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) is remembered as one of the greatest designers of the Japanese woodblock print at a time when the medium was facing increasing competition from photography and lithography. The artist’s tumultuous life and work mirrors one of the most transformative periods in Japanese history—the change from a feudal to a modern society emulating Western ways of government and social conduct.

The exhibition features a variety of Yoshitoshi’s most engaging works—images of horror and cruelty, supernatural creatures, commanding acts of bravery by legendary figures from Japanese history, images of samurai, and portraits of women. But it also proposes new ways of understanding his life and artistic trajectory, which became increasingly retrospective in his final decade, reinforcing the notion of Yoshitoshi as an artist living between two eras. The exhibition will draw special attention to his masterpiece, the scroll painting Fujiwara no Yasumasa Playing the Flute by Moonlight (1882), one of the great works of Japanese art in an American museum collection.

Composer Shirish Korde speaks about the different types of historical Japanese flutes and flutist Alice Jones performs. This performance draws special attention to Tsukioka Yoshitoshi's masterpiece, the scroll painting: "Fujiwara no Yasumasa Playing the Flute by Moonlight" (1882), one of the great works of Japanese art in the Worcester Art Museum, and indeed any American collection.

+ BIO: Shirish Korde

Shirish Korde is celebrated for “integrating and synthesizing music of diverse cultures into breathtaking works of complex expressive layers.” His works have been performed by orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, The New Zealand Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, the National Polish Radio Orchestra; and ensembles such as The Boston Musica Viva, Da Capo Chamber Players, The Ensemble Modern and others. He has received many grants and awards including the National Endowment for the Arts, The Fromm Foundation, and The Siemens Foundation. His works can be heard on Chandos, Neuma, Centaur, and Mode.

Worcester Art Museum
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