(continuing the exhibition reports)
Official site (in French)
It's an exhibition about Japanese art from the Edo era, a rather hedonist time of Japan where they celebrated all the pleasures of life and where they designated the "pleasure quarters" in towns where courtesans and actors practised their arts... all of them (to over-simplify).
It's a time I studied earlier this year to get some background information on actors of this time especially, because I uh, needed the info to write a Sailor Moon fan-fiction where I intended to "explain" a rather effeminate character's background by making him an onnagata (actors playing female parts).
There wasn't a lot of information given in the exhibition itself, unfortunately, and I didn't think of taking the audio commentary option at the time. So a lot of it was just staring at the pictures wondering what was going on and what it was. Even having read on the subject beforehand, a lot of it was lost to me.
I figure I would have found the explanation in the book going with it, but it was way too heavy to bring around, and if I was going to buy the catalogs of all the exhibitions I see, I'd be broke.
I actually had problems to figure out how they could recognize women from men (except the men who had their hair buzzed), and courtesans from regular women or from onnagata.
At least I wasn't completely lost when they talked of shamisen and the likes... - it's a kind of guitar.
And there was also a few shunga, the erotic Japanese prints. Which are... Funny. Actually, anatomically really weird, with, to say the least, an "emphasis" on certain parts of the people that contrasts with the rest of the bodies being mostly in black and white with no shape modeling...
Okay, basically you've got these huge and colored penises and pussies jumping to your face, while the rest is the delicate, stylized usual art.
Not to mention the poses. Men's legs seem to be articulated the wrong way.
The exhibition is set at the Grand Palais, started on my birthday (it quite amused my brother since he knows the research I have put into "gay Japanese stories"...) and lasts a few months still.
Yes, I know, not many of you are anywhere near Paris even if you were interested in that.