Japan Society Gallery Presents 'A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths In Japanese Prints'
New York, November 16, 2016—Japan Society Gallery is pleased to announce the U.S. premiere of A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints, the first exhibition in North America devoted to the variety of gender and sexual expression in traditional Japanese society by focusing on wakashu, attractive male youths who, the exhibitions reveals, constituted a distinct gender category during the Edo period (1603-1868). On view from March 10 to June 11, 2017, this groundbreaking exhibition features over 65 woodblock prints, as well as paintings, deluxe lacquerwork objects, and personal ornaments from the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto, one of the most expansive collections of Japanese art in North America. The exhibition sheds light on the complex rules which governed sexual and societal constructs, offering a critical historical context for gender performance and sexual expression—topics that continue to resonate within today’s political, public, and artistic discourse.
“We could not be more excited to bring this imminently relevant exhibition to New York City,” says Yukie Kamiya, Gallery Director at Japan Society. “With our long history of presenting traditional and contemporary Japanese art, we look forward to exploring Japan’s Early Modern era, which is often characterized as a moment of isolation, from an unexpected vantage point–namely, how the richness of lived experience in the Edo period can serve as a touchstone for issues that resonate within contemporary society.”
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