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TOKYO

“Undressing Paintings: Japanese Nudes 1880-1945″

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, TOKYO

by Yuhei Wada

Staff Writer

The nude may now be a common and popular subject for artists, but in Japan, depicting a naked person was considered immoral and obscene during the early Meiji Period (1868-1912). This exhibition explores how modern Japanese artists such as Seiki Kuroda and Busho Hara struggled to introduce Western art aesthetics to Japanese culture.

In the West, depictions of the naked body had been made acceptable through artworks based on mythology. But such art was unfamiliar to the Japanese, and those who sought to paint nudes were considered scandalous. In fact, the painting of nudes became so controversial, artists’ activities often attracted the attention of the police.

The varied styles represented in this show tell the history of the nude in Japan and how the efforts of past artists paved the way for its acceptance in today’s society; till Jan. 15, 2012.

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; (03) 5777-8600; 3-1 Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku; 3-min walk from Takebashi Station, Tozai Line. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. ¥850. Closed Mon., Dec. 28 to Jan. 1, and Jan. 10. www.momat.go.jp.