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E- Museums – JAPANOMANIA – Fine Art in the New Media at the NASJONALMUSET, OSLO

January 25, 2017.New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday by Jack Dziamba.

FINE ART IN THE NEW MEDIA

One of the purposes of this blog is to review the use of the New Media by Museums to fulfil the mission to make Art acceptable to everyone, everywhere. This week we look at  Nasjonalmuset, The Norwegian National Museum, and The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and  the exhibition, “Japanomania in the North.”

JAPANOMANIA

The Japanese inspiration, known in the world of art as “Japonism”, was the result of Japan opening its borders in 1854, but it first became evident in the Nordic countries from the 1880s on.

“Japanese art and design were seen as something new, fresh and exciting. The emphasis on asymmetry, simplification and stylisation – combined with a profound respect for the smallest of nature’s details – had a liberating effect on artists and designers, who increasingly wanted to consign older styles to history and create something new. Japonism formed a prelude to Nordic modernism.” (Nasjonalmuset)

“The exhibition Japanomania in the North 1875–1918 SMK turns back time to show how Western art became infused by Japanese aesthetics: asymmetrical compositions, decorative subject matter, meditative imagery and close observation of birds, fish, insects, branches and flowers. ” (Art Daily)

The exhibition itself ran in 2016 from June to October. November, so we will look at what one may see from the exhibition online. One of the important uses of the New Media is to put and leave a substantial portion of an exhibition online so that it is accessible to any one in the world, long after the exhibition closes.

JAPAN’S INFLUENCE ON WESTERN ART

“The exhibition was designed to show how Western art became infused by Japanese aesthetics: asymmetrical compositions, decorative subject matter, meditative imagery and close observation of birds, fish, insects, branches and flowers.”

“The influence from Japan was particularly strong on artists such as Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, van Gogh, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Anna Ancher, Albert Edelfelt and L.A. Ring, all of whom were featured in the exhibition.”

“Many of the artists who were swept up by the craze for all things Japanese also staged themselves and their families in silk kimonos, fans, parasols and paper lamps, using photographs to immortalise themselves as Japonistes – either at their studios or in their own homes, decorated in the Japanese style.” (Art Daily)

“Japanese art and design were seen as something new, fresh and exciting. The emphasis on asymmetry, simplification and stylisation – combined with a profound respect for the smallest of nature’s details – had a liberating effect on artists and designers, who increasingly wanted to consign older styles to history and create something new. Japonism formed a prelude to Nordic modernism.” (Nasjonalmuset)

FINE ART in the NEW MEDIA at the NASJONALMUSET

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-1-49-30-pm

The exhibition featured around 400 objects inspired by Japanese design, as well as 200 paintings and woodcuts.The website shows 10 of those items. The real gem of the exhibition online are the 12 excellent videos on You Tube which run as a continuous loop accompanied by Japanese music. The fact that the videos have only the art and music, they are accessible to everyone.

The videos are well shot and edited, giving them not only a professional quality, but they immerse the viewer in the art much more so that the usual “taking head” videos produced by some other museums. One has to look carefully for the videos, as the only key to them on the website is the small You Tube icon in the upper right hand corner of the website. It would be great if the link to the videos, and the videos themselves were embedded more prominently in the website.

The Museum does have a facebook page, where one can click (from the menu) on the videos.  The museum does have excellent twitter and instagram pages, which one may get to by also clicking on the respective icons. One can also experience the exhibition in the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in 360 degrees, and the the exhibition in the National Gallery in 360 degrees (both of which, unfortunately were too large to experience on my laptop).

Through these various clicks the (Nasjonalmuset) does achieve the objective of making the exhibition accessible online the user interface could be made more seamless. For instance, from the website, one has no idea that there are such excellent videos simply by the display of the You Tube icon in the usual way. When the 360s are accessible, it is hoped that the viewer may still see the full exhibition.

 

 

 

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