SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS 2017 – 2018
In the central part of the second floor, the museum organizes special exhibitions three times a year. Themes are taken from both Japanese folk art (mingei) and archaeological fields.
BANKSf FLORILEGIUM from the ICU Library Collection April 4 (Tue.) - June 17 (Sat.), 2017
Banksf Florilegium is a set of copperplate engravings of exotic botanical illustrations collected by Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820) and his scientific team when they joined Captain James Cookfs first expedition around the world on HMS Endeavour (1768–1771). Sir Joseph Banks was a botanist and explorer who served as president of the Royal Society and advisor of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
The Florilegium was to be published together with botanical descriptions immediately after their return (between 1771 and 1784), but they were never entirely printed until 200 years later. It was in the 1980s that the Alecto Historical Editions in collaboration with the Natural History Museum printed the illustrations using the original copperplates. A limited edition of 100 sets of 743 colored copperplate engravings were made.
The ICU Library houses the complete set of the Florilegium. 91 prints from the flora of New Zealand are selected for this exhibition. We hope that you will enjoy the beauty and details of the botanical prints which was a product of the search of new and useful exotic plants.
Plate 445: Metrosideros excelsa Banks & Solander ex Gaertner
Checks and Stripes
September 12 (Tue.) - November 10 (Fri.), 2017
Japanese Paper at Work January 9 (Tue.) - March 9 (Fri.), 2018
Washi, or Japanese paper, is said to have a life span of one thousand years. It is made from plant fibers from trees such as k?zo (Broussonetia kazinoki Sieb.), mitsumata (Edgeworthia papyrifera Sieb. et Zucc.) and gampi (Diplomorpha sikokiana Nakai). The nagashisuki technique, literally gflowing method of papermaking,h was established during the Nara period by improving the method introduced from the Korean peninsula. In this technique, original to Japan, a vat of viscous liquid with long fibers is repeatedly shaken and the fibers are allowed to spread, entangled and strongly bonded in countless layers, thus producing a very special quality \ thin and soft, yet difficult to tear. Due to its lightness and ease in handling, not only is washi used for calligraphy and painting, but also for a wide range of functions. Kamiko and shifu are washi used like cloth to make kimono. Kaminagato are containers created by weaving twisted paper, and then lacquered. Katagami are paper stencils waterproofed with persimmon tannin used in applying patterns. Washi worked in various ways, turning into multiple forms.
Today, washi draws global attention as an indispensable material in the conservation of cultural properties. It was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014. We would like to highlight the power and form of washi through this exhibition.