Many aspects of the Japanese culture are unique; however, it also has a strong Chinese influence. For hundreds of years, the Japanese isolated themselves from the outside world, which led to the development of certain distinctive ways. Once Japan started trading with the west, Japanese art became a huge hit in Europe and the U.S. It played a significant part in the development of both decorative and fine arts throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. This article will outline different periods of Japanese art history, as well as the contemporary art movement, for your history assignment help
Art historians trace back Japanese art to the 10th century B.C. The art created by the earliest inhabitants of the Japanese islands came in many different forms. Over the centuries, war and invasions introduced new artistic styles and techniques, leading to the evolution of Japanese art, which borrows heavily from Chinese art. Ancient and contemporary art in Japan covers a wide range of types and mediums, including literature, painting, calligraphy, origami, pottery, manga, and more.
• Development of Japanese Painting
The origins of Japanese painting date back into the prehistoric period. Geometric, architectural, and botanical images are evident on pottery and bronze bells dating to the Yayoi, and Joon, periods between 300 BC and 300AD. Along with the introduction of Buddhism, the Chinese system of government, and the Chinese writing style, the Japanese also imported many Chinese paintings and artwork and started producing paintings in a similar style.
Japan adopted the Chinese system of writing, which is how literacy came to the islands. Although the Japanese later developed a phonetic alphabet, pictographic characters maintained their importance. Consequently, visual symbolism related to animals, people, plants, and other things strongly affected the meaning and content of Japanese visual arts.
The ancient Chinese painting style had a strong influence on Japanese painting, especially during the 15th and 16 centuries. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, however, the Japanese painting style evolved in different ways, mainly due to isolation from the outside world. It became more naturalistic and abstract than Chinese painting, in addition to allowing for more personality and spontaneity.
Shifting perspectives characterized Japanese scenery and landscape scroll paintings; however, most paintings focused more on limited or intimate subjects, allowing for more lighting effects and a clear perspective. They featured animals, studies of plant life, scenes of everyday life, and individual portraits, as opposed to the decorative aesthetics that characterized early Chinese paintings.
Ukiyo-e is an early Japanese painting style that featured very distinctive and striking ways of using color and lines in portraits, landscape paintings, and paintings of other subjects. It became quite popular in the western world in the 19th century, leading to its use by Western artists. Since Japan is an island with limited space, unique visual ideas, and effects developed there. Early Japanese painters had to seek and attach the essence of space and wilderness to their paintings.
Japan went through a major social and political change in the course of modernization during the prewar period. The government actively promoted Western-style painting and sent talented artists overseas for artistic studies. It also brought in foreign artists to set up an art curriculum at local schools. Shortly after, however, enthusiasm for western art waned, which led to the resurgence of traditional Japanese art.
Contemporary art Movement in the Heart of the Land of the Rising Sun
Japanese art experienced a huge rise in popularity in the 20th century when the nation chose to embrace the outside world and shed the veil of isolation. After the Second World War, Japanese art underwent further experimentation and transformation, giving rise to a group of radical artists who did not abide by traditional artistic styles.
In the 1980s, fueled by academicism and pop culture, artists in Japan ventured into postmodernism art and started making a huge impact internationally. Consequently, there was a gradual blurring of the boundary between modern and traditional art. The most important period in Japanese contemporary art, however, was in the 1990s.
During this period, a new generation of artists emerged, such as Yoshimoto Nara and Takashi Murakami. Pioneered by the latter, Japanese art went through the super-flat movement, which combines Kawaii culture and mainstream pop art.
Contemporary artists in Japan, however, tend to find more success in the western world than in their own country because Japanese society leans more towards modern and traditional art. Private collectors are increasingly purchasing work from the new crop of Japanese artists. Recent years have