From print design to ceramics, a show that reveals the politics of style behind the visually tantalizing Art Deco-influenced Japanese pre-WWII cultural aesthetics. How an aggressive top-down “modernisation” propaganda was part of Japan’s socio-political campaign to raise its status above the rest of East Asia, or Asia. I wonder to what extent its effects have lasted even till now – in the seemingly oft-assumed superior development of Japanese design culture, or cultural appropriation.

Images from Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945.

From left: songbook cover; lithograph, inks on paper (1929); sake flash in the form of an Akita dog; porcelain (1930s); Panel, ink, colors, and mica on silk (1933)

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