Japanese colour woodblock prints of the Edo period (1603–1868) promoted everything from tooth powder to textile design and much in between. This talk explores the famous regional foods (meibutsu) and restaurants (meisho) that were popularised through such works. One focal point will be the gastronomic delights such as yam soup, gardenia dyed rice, and oak-leaf dumplings that travellers enjoyed along the roughly 300 mile-long Tokaido Road linking Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. Another will be the specialties of the fashionable restaurants in Edo, many of which were gathering spots for the celebrities of the day.
About the Speaker
Christine M.E. Guth has taught at institutions including Princeton, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Berkeley. She led the Asian specialism in the Victoria and Albert Museum & Royal College of Art’s Post-graduate History of Design Program from 2007 until 2016. She has written widely about transnational cultural exchange between the United States and Japan. Her book-length publications include Longfellow’s Tattoos: Tourism, Collecting, and Japan (2004); and Hokusai’s Great Wave: Biography of a Global Icon (2015). She is co-author (with Haruhiko Fujita) of The Encyclopaedia of East-Asian Design (2019).
About the Discussant
Clement Onn, Senior Curator of Asian Export Art & Peranakan at the Asian Civilisations Museum, has curated several exhibitions at ACM, including Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour (2016) and the current Life in Edo x Russel Wong in Kyoto. His research focuses on artistic and cross-cultural exchanges across trading networks and Asian port cities.
Image: Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Moriyama: Bodhidharma eating soba noodle, from the series Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō Road, 1852. Nakau Ei Collection
ACMtalks brings leading scholars in conversation with curators at ACM to explore our core curatorial themes: Maritime Trade, Faith & Belief, and Materials & Design. These lectures and discussions will illuminate aspects of the museum’s collection strengths in export art and sacred objects, as well as Asian fashion and textiles, lacquer and silver, jewellery, and ceramics. Webinars take place on the third Thursday of every month, from 7 to 8 pm, Singapore Standard Time (UTC+08).
ACMtalks is supported by Kris Foundation
Kris Foundation is a non-profit initiative set up in 2009 by Kris Tan. The Foundation is dedicated to empowering young classical musicians in Singapore and the region through its scholarships, support of arts organisations and signature concert series.