The Smithsonians Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
will offer a variety of programs, exhibitions and tours to celebrate the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 28 through April 12, in Washington, D.C.
Coinciding with the festival, the Sackler Gallery presents The Tale of Shuten Dōji, March 21 through Sept. 20. Colorful illustrations on scrolls, screens, fans and books from Japans Edo period (1615-1868) tell the heroic tale of the conquest of the terrifying red monster Shuten Dōji by the hero Minamoto Yorimitsu (9481021), known as Raikō. Docent-led tours will be available throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Visitors can also explore the Japanese galleries in the Freer and learn how artists from the ninth through 19th centuries developed a distinctive repertoire of techniques for applying gold and silver to works of art in Moonlight and Golden Clouds: Silver and Gold in the Arts of Japan, on view through Nov. 8. In the adjacent galleries, 13 ceramics from China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan show how broken clay vessels were mended with lacquer resin and sprinkled with gold dusttransforming their appearance and creating a new component of appreciation in Golden Seams: The Japanese Art of Mending Ceramics, also on view though Nov. 8.
In the Freer and Sacklers ImaginAsia workshops, children ages 8-14 and their adult companions can experience an exhibition and create a related art project to take home. On March 28 and 29, ImaginAsia presents an Anime Artist Workshop, which explores how contemporary artists draw upon the traditions of Japanese masters. On April 4-19, participants can learn about the exhibition Moonlight and Clouds and make their own silver and gold creations.
On Saturday, March 28, the Freer Gallery hosts the seventh annual National Cherry Blossom Anime Marathon in cooperation with the Japan Information and Culture Center and Otakorp Inc. The daylong event, beginning at 11 a.m. in the Meyer Auditorium, features a costume show and exhibition courtesy of the DC Anime Club.
Nine Japanese films are also coming to the Freer in the traveling retrospective In the Realm of Oshima, showcasing the brash, rebellious, passionate and conservative films of director Nagisa Oshima. Films will be screened on Fridays and Sundays from March 6 through April 5; two tickets per person will be distributed at the Meyer Auditorium one hour before each screening. For up-to-date information on show times and film titles and descriptions, visit www.asia.si.edu