Perseverance exhibition showcases traditional Japanese tattoo art

31 Jan 2017

Newcastle Museum presents Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World from 9 February to 30 April 2017. This stunning exhibition explores the artistry of traditional Japanese tattoos along with its rich history and influence on modern tattoo practices.

Through the display of a variety of photographs, including life-sized images of full body tattoos, as well as interactive elements and sculptured objects, Perseverance covers a broad spectrum of the current world of Japanese tattooing.

Perseverance was developed by the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and completed a multi-city US tour in 2015-16. It is being toured internationally by Flying Fish Exhibits and Newcastle Museum is the first collecting institution in Australia to host this exhibition.

"We are very excited to bring the Perseverance exhibition to the Museum's audience in Newcastle and the Hunter," said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes. "Our Museum continues to raise its profile nationally by presenting world class exhibitions to our community.

"Perseverance demonstrates the Museum's commitment to providing diverse exhibitions that appeal to a wide range of audiences and age groups. The exhibition also provides a platform for Newcastle to display some of its fine collection of Japanese ceramics from Newcastle Art Gallery."

Newcastle Museum Manager Julie Baird sees this exhibition as a perfect fit for Newcastle and its thriving community of tattoo enthusiasts and artists, and an enticement for younger adults to visit the Museum.

"There are nearly 1,000 registered tattoo studios in Australia, and about 40 are in Newcastle alone," said Baird. "Tattoo art is quite popular in Newcastle and we have a number of talented tattoo artists in our community. This exhibition will attract visitors who are interested in tattoos as well as enthusiasts of Japanese art and culture--it's simply a beautiful exhibition."

"Perseverance brings a funkier, younger vibe as well as a more masculine focus than some of our exhibitions. We will continue our after-hours programming with this exhibition, with a special night of Japanese culture and live tattooing that will provide an opportunity for people to meet and connect with one another in and around the Museum space."

Although tattooing is largely seen as an underground activity in Japan, Japanese tattoo artists have pursued their passions, applied their skills, and have risen to become internationally acclaimed artists. Through the endurance and dedication of these tattoo artists, Japanese tattooing has also persevered and is now internationally renowned for its artistry, lineage, historical symbolism and skill.

Curated by Takahiro Kitamura and photographed and designed by Kip Fulbeck, Perseverance explores Japanese tattooing as an art form by acknowledging its roots in ukiyo-e prints and also examines current practices and offshoots of Japanese tattooing in the U.S. and Japan.

Perseverance features the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists, Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka), Horitomo, Chris Horishiki Brand, Miyazo, Shige, Junii and Yokohama Horiken, along with tattoo works by selected others.

The Perseverance exhibition at Newcastle Museum is supported by The Japan Foundation, Sydney.

When: 9 February - 30 April 2017
Where: Supernova Gallery
Cost: Adult: $10; Concession and ages 12-18: $8; Children under 12: Free

NM PM Perseverance event

Ink in the Link

NM PM is back for a night of tattooing and Japanese culture!

Come and explore the Museum after hours! It's a celebration of Perseverance, the ground breaking photographic exhibition showcasing the artistry of traditional Japanese tattoos.
There will be live demonstrations of tattooing, displays by local tattoo artists and studios, as well as demonstrations and performances exploring Japanese culture.

Relax in the Museum Café with Japanese food and drink or marvel at our Show and Shine featuring Japanese cars and bikes. There will be so much to see, do and experience!

So ink up and immerse yourself in a night of after-hours fun at Newcastle Museum!

When: 5pm - 9:30pm, Friday 10 March
Cost: Free performances and displays - entry fees apply to Perseverance exhibition