(Hanoi) Travelling Exhibition Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke

In celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Vietnam in 2018, The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, in cooperation with Embassy of Japan in Vietnam proudly present a travelling exhibition “Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke” from 26th of January to 15th of March, 2018 at Exhibition Halls, The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, 27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke, our new traveling exhibition, is an innovative contemporary crafts exhibition presenting 65 works by contemporary netsuke carvers and artists. A netsuke is a non-slip toggle that has been used since the Edo period (1603-1868) to secure the small personal items such as money pouches, inro-(medicine container), or tobacco containers worn suspended on cords from the obi (a sash worn with kimono). These practical objects were created by and for the common people and greatly enjoyed by them. As Western clothing was adopted from the Meiji period (1868-1911) on, however, netsuke disappeared from daily life in Japan. Meanwhile, with the interest in

Japonisme in Europe and America in the late nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, netsuke came to be exported in large numbers and were highly regarded as art or craft objects in other countries. In Japan, meanwhile, some netsuke enthusiasts and carvers managed to keep the tradition alive. Since the 1970s, a new genre, contemporary netsuke, has taken shape, inspired by new sensibilities and ideas. Today, contemporary netsuke carvers continue to ply their craft,  steadily producing to new works.

This exhibition focuses on contemporary netsuke. We hope that visitors will explore the subtle and highly artistic skills, and playfulness, embodied in netsuke and consider the practicality and charm of netsuke today, when they are not longer part of everyday life. The netsuke has been called a tactile craft. Nare in Japanese, and perhaps gpatinah in English, changes that arise over time from actually touching them, is regarded as a distinctive resonance that makes netsuke rich and vital. To communicate the essence of the netsuke, this exhibition thus also includes works that visitors can actually pick up and hold the palms of their own hands. It is our hope that you will experience the warmth characteristic of natural wood and the beauty lodged in netsuke with the passage of time.

This exhibition is designed so that people, regardless of time or place, can savor tactile encounters with others and think of them through these works. We hope that as it tours, netsuke will take on a new practical role as a ”toggle”,connecting Japan and the world.

Free of admission.

Exhibition information:  

Organized by: The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam
Supported by: Embassy of Japan in Vietnam
Exhibition Advisor: Taishu Komatsu (Director of Akita Senshu Museum of Art)



Opening: 10:00 AM– Friday, 26th January, 2018
Duration: Friday, 26th January – Thursday 15th March, 2018
[Opening hours] 8:30 – 18:00, no closed days except Vietnamese Tet holidays from 13-21 February]
Venue: Exhibition Halls,
The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam
27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi


Exhibition PR Photos reference: (Please contact us for higher resolution images)


■ For inquiries on the exhibition, please contact at:

Ms. Nha (Ext. 115) / Mr. Kawai (Ext. 109)

The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam

27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam       TEL 024-3944-7419    www.jpf.org.vn

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