stepping back in time

Russell Wong in Kyoto side by side with Life in Edo

A tale of two popular cities – Edo, today’s Tokyo, and Kyoto, the old imperial capital….

The double-bill exhibition is centred on Japanese culture and craftsmanship, showcasing an array of woodblock prints and photography. These artworks tell stories of traditional and contemporary Japan, and reveal how one often merges into the other.

The exhibition is presented in two parts, each spotlighting a different time period and multiple aspects of life in Japan.

Asian Civilisations Museum

Life in Edo showcases an extensive collection of woodblock prints and paintings which depict people’s travels, ideas on beauty, foods they craved, entertainments and pets of the Edo period (1603–1868), featuring works from the great masters, including Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Kitagawa Utamaro, Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

A peek into the process of producing a woodblock print.

Russel Wong in Kyoto features photographs from a 13-year-long, ongoing personal project to document the geiko of Kyoto.

On left: Face by Russell Wong, Kyoto 2020, Large format combining 2×2 oban size prints, archival pigment prints on photo rag. On right: Geiko Sayaka by Russell Wong, Kyoto 2014, combining 4×4 oban size prints. Feature photo is Lips by Russell Wong, Kyoto 2020, large format combining 3×2 oban size prints.

Almost all of Russell Wong’s photographs are printed in oban size (approx 39 by 26cm), the most popular woodblock print format during the Edo era.

There is an interactive space for travel-deprived visitors: Russell Wong’s photographs in colour and enlarged to afford transport to Japan.

Loving Husband, Younger Daughter and I enjoying some Japan feeling.

We’ve visited this exhibition twice already. We were going to make another visit while Loving Husband was on summer break, but restrictions tightened so plans are postponed.

This post is my contribution to One Word Sunday: Old hosted by Debbie at TravelWithIntent


    1. Actually the museums and galleries have largely remained opened during these past few lockdowns. We postponed our trip because we were planning to being my parents to share in the Japan feeling – only 2 per outing is allowed. Restrictions are lifting next week, and we’ll be able to go out in groups of 5 again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you, Donna. Which is why I am so grateful that the museums & art galleries have remained largely open during the last few lockdowns. Fewer people are allowed in, which is great for me. No waiting to see the artwork or being rushed along.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s