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Shunga: Sex And Humour In Japanese Art
In early modern Japan, 1600-1900, thousands of sexually explicit paintings, prints, and illustrated books with texts were produced, euphemistically called ‘spring pictures’ (Shunga).
Frequently tender, funny and beautiful, Shunga were mostly done within the popular school known as ‘pictures of the floating world’ (ukiyo-e), by celebrated artists such as Utamaro and Hokusai.
Shunga is in some ways a unique phenomenon in pre-modern world culture, in terms of the quantity, the quality and the nature of the art that was produced.
This exhibition aims to answer some key questions about what is Shunga and why was it produced. In particular it will explore the social and cultural contexts for sex art in Japan.
During the twentieth century, Shunga was all but removed from popular and scholarly memory and became taboo.
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Venue: The British Museum
→ Charing Cross 16 min walk
→ St Pancras (London) 17 min walk
→ St Pancras 17 min walk
→ Holborn 4 min walk