Kyōsai: The Man of Many Myths – An Evening with the Royal Academy of Arts
Discover the witty, imaginative and genre-defying work of virtuoso Japanese painter Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831–1889) in a special evening at Japan House in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts coinciding with their exhibition Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection.
One of the most celebrated artists of late nineteenth-century Japan, many labels have been attached to Kyōsai throughout the ages: from ukiyo-e artist, academic Kanō-school painter to Hogarthian political satirist. The artist’s love of sake has also inspired a colourful image.
Dr Sadamura Koto, curator of Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection, unpacks the many myths surrounding Kyōsai in a special talk uncovering the work of an artist who resists conventional categorization. Later, she will be joined in conversation with RA President Rebecca Salter and art collector Israel Goldman for a panel discussion chaired by Japan House London Programming Director Simon Wright.
The event in the Hall at Japan House is followed by a drinks reception. Guests can also enjoy an exclusive late-night visit to the Japan House Gallery exhibition Symbiosis: Living Island until 21:00.
About the Speakers
Dr Sadamura Koto
Sadamura Koto, PhD, is a curator of the RA exhibition ‘Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection’ (2022). She specializes in the study of the Japanese painter Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831–1889) on whom she has published extensively, including Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2022), Kyōsai’s Animal Circus (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2022), and Kyōsai Shunga: From the Israel Goldman Collection (co-authored by Ishigami Aki, Kyoto: Seigensha, 2017). She is a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow (2021–2022) at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Asia, the British Museum (since 2016).
Rebecca Salter PRA is the current President of the Royal Academy of Arts. She studied at Bristol Polytechnic and then at Kyoto City University of the Arts in Japan, where she lived for six years. While living in Kyoto she studied Japanese woodblock printing with Professor Kurosaki Akira and has since written two books on the subject. Her interest in printmaking is combined with her practice in painting. Salter was elected as a Royal Academician in December 2014 and, in June 2017, she became the Keeper of the RA schools. On 10 December 2019 she was elected the 27th President of the Royal Academy of Arts and is first female President since the Academy was founded in 1768.
Israel Goldman (aka Izzy) is one of the world’s foremost dealers in the field of Japanese prints, paintings and illustrated books. Izzy’s latest discovery is a group of highly important drawings by Hokusai which were sold to the British Museum and exhibited there to great acclaim in 2021. His personal collection of works by Kawanabe Kyōsai, which has been extensively exhibited in Japan, is one of the finest extant. The collection is on long-term loan to the British Museum where it is available for public study.
Image: Kawanabe Kyōsai, Night Procession of One Hundred Demons (detail of left screen), 1871–89. Pair of six–panel screens: ink and light colour on paper, 146.8 × 310 cm (each). Israel Goldman Collection, London. Photo: Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University