Exhibitions at the Embassy of Japan

A picture is displayed.

Yoshio Markino Buckingham Palace, London, Seen Across Green Park
© Japanese Gallery Kensington, Ltd

BRITAIN THROUGH JAPANESE EYES:  14 September – 2 November 2018

Open weekdays 09:30 - 17:30, closed weekends
Admission is free, but photo ID is necessary to gain entry to the Embassy

The Embassy of Japan
101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT

Towards the turn of the 20th century, Japanese art and design found an increasingly wider audience in the West. Japan’s greater presence on the world stage sparked the imagination of many Europeans and the interest shown in their country’s art allowed Japanese nationals the chance to carve out career opportunities for themselves in Europe. This exhibition focuses on two Japanese artists who made Britain their home and documented British life in their art.

Yoshio Markino (1869-1956) moved to the UK in 1897 at the recommendation of a fellow artist friend and he combined working in an office with taking art classes in his spare time. His skill in depicting the foggy streetscapes of London in sketches and watercolours earned him commissions with high-profile publications, and with it, much critical acclaim. Markino became a respected figure in art and literary circles, even publishing several autobiographies during his stay in this country which were written in his own quirky style.

Yoshijirō (Mokuchū) Urushibara (1889-1953) initially came to London to give demonstrations on woodblock carving and print production at the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition. The interest shown in his work convinced him to stay to give lectures and presentations on woodblock printing across Europe. He worked as a restorer at the British Museum and later on collaborated with a number of artists, including Markino, making woodblocks from their drawings and watercolours.

While these two artists took very different career paths, their work showed the appeal of framing scenes of British life using Japanese sensibilities. Markino and Mokuchū learnt from and taught those around them during their time in the UK, and although they both eventually returned to Japan, their strong personal and artistic connections contributed greatly to cross-cultural communication.

This exhibition has been made possible with kind cooperation and generosity of Japanese Gallery Kensington, Ltd

The Embassy of Japan