Skin Deep: Tattooed Warriors and Fantastic Beasts at the Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

Skin Deep: Tattooed Warriors and Fantastic Beasts

April 30, 2013–December 15, 2013 D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts » Print Gallery

Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Print Corridor

This exhibition of Japanese prints explores the social significance, iconography, and intricacy of Japanese tattoos and will depict figures with tattoos in diverse contexts. Many of the images were captured by artists of Edo-period (1615–1868) Japan, who reproduced distinctive tattoo motifs and bold designs of the day, which are still used in 21st -century tattoo shops all over the world. Skin Deep showcases the popular print medium, ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”), and explores themes of mythical and historical heroes, beasts, actors of the Kabuki theater, beautiful women, and the rich iconography found in the prints and the tattoos. Tattoos (most often called irezumi in Japanese) became an important feature of Japanese urban culture in the early 19th century.

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