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Women Cross Media

Photography, Porcelain and Prints from Japan and China

3 March to 5 June 2017
An exhibition of the Europe/World research programme spanning several collections as part of the project Dresden • Europe • World, Sponsel-Raum at the Neues Grünes Gewölbe at the Residenzschloss

Women Cross Media is a presentation in the context of the exhibition Dresden • Europe • World and is dedicated to the cross-media issue of how femininity was portrayed in images in East Asian art of the early 18th to the late 19th century – in a dialogue between objects from the Porcelain Collection, the Photography Collection of the Museum of Ethnology and from the Kupferstich-Kabinett.

  • Unbekannter Fotograf, „Whispering“,  Japan, 1870–1900, Albuminpapier, koloriert, 26,4 × 20,2 cm, Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden, Copyright: SKD
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Unbekannter Fotograf, „Kyoto Girls“ (Drei Kurtisanen), Kyoto, aus dem Fotoalbum „Japan III“, 1880–1900, Albuminpapier, koloriert, montiert auf Untersatzkarton, 25,1 × 19,7 cm, Seite: 54,5 × 38,5 cm, Album: 56 × 41 × 5 cm, Museum für Völkerkunde, Copyright: SKD
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Shanghai Dispensary Photographer (Atelier), Porträt einer sitzenden jungen Frau, Ningpo, 1900, Silbergelatinepapier, montiert auf Untersatzkarton, 15 × 10,6 cm, Untersatzkarton: 23,6 × 18,3 cm, Museum für Völkerkunde, Copyright: SKD - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.


"Pictures of beautiful women” is one of the central themes of both Chinese and Japanese art. During the early development of Chinese painting, communicating moral-didactic values initially played a large role. With the growing interest in everyday life during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), women became a decorative motif. In contrast, Japanese porcelain from the Genroku period (1688 - 1704) or the souvenir photographs of the Meiji period (1868 - 1912) show women from the social background of entertainment. At the latest by this point in time, traditional East Asian iconography and the fantasies of Western recipients as potential collectors of these objects fuse to become an individual visual language. Japanese fashion and the growing ethnographic interest in Asia at the end of the 19th century increased the production of images. Aspects such as commercialisation, ideals of beauty and the formation of stereotypes resulting from these are explored critically in media comparison.