'Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905,' Exhibition

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October 6, 2017
January 7, 2018
Ackland Art Museum
Ackland Art Museum
101 S. Columbia St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States

When modern war technologies, such as long-range ammunition, torpedoes and electric searchlights, were introduced into the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War at the turn of the 20th century, Japanese printmakers documenting battle scenes skillfully adapted the centuries-old techniques of ukiyo-e (woodblock printing) to achieve altogether new atmospheric and light effects. The Ackland Art Museum’s exhibition Flash of Light, Fog of War examines how these printmakers created dynamic compositions—soldiers silhouetted against fiery pyrotechnic explosions, beams of bright white electrical light illuminating the hulls of steel warships and the haze of spent gunpowder obscuring the brutal combat of the battlefield—that were part reportage and part dazzling artistic display.

This exhibition has been made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Ackland’s Ruth and Sherman Lee Fund for Asian Art.

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