Currently on display in the Bobbie Powell and Ross R. DeVean Permanent Collection Galleries, Floating Worlds features selected works that trace and re-examine the evolution of Asian prints and paintings from the 19th century to the present day. Moving backward from modern, abstract works through contemporary takes on the Asian landscape, and concluding with more traditional works of the 19th century, Floating Worldsexamines the influences and relationships of Japanese, Japanese-American, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, and European artists working within the realms of Asian and Asian-inspired art. The works featured range from traditional ink-wash paintings and prints from Hiroshige and unknown artists, to the modern works of Sugai and Kanemitsu, whose works draw from their cultural roots.
Floating Worlds encompasses numerous artistic movements from the last three centuries, juxtaposed in a unique thematic flow both by style and the adherence to and aberration from tradition. Through the selection of works that have each been considered groundbreaking and traditional at different points in history, Floating Worlds challenges the presuppositions of “tradition” in art. Each of these works has been involved in a revolving history of influence and expression, with the different schools, or movements, both adding to and taking from each other. Making evident the relationships between these movements urges the viewer to question where the line blurs between classical and modern styles, and how these styles have and will continue to inform each other within the context of Asian art movements. From 19th century Ukiyo-e woodblock prints to modernist works from the 20th and 21st centuries,Floating Worlds considers each artwork both independently and as a piece of the greater tradition of Asian art.
Sierra LaPoint and Kathryn Poindexter