Beautiful Lives—Birds and Flowers in Japanese and East Asian Art

The Nezu Museum

poster for Beautiful Lives—Birds and Flowers in Japanese and East Asian Art

Ends in 19 days

Flowers, with their countless colors and shapes, and birds, with their gorgeous feathers, have been objects of appreciation throughout the world from time immemorial. In East Asia, and chiefly in China, bird-and-flower paintings became as important a genre as figure and landscape paintings. The Japanese term shasei, now used to mean sketching from life, was originally used in China, where bird-and-flower painting originated, to refer to the practice of observing the subject and depicting its form, ecology, and vital nature. Bird-and-flower painting, then, takes beautiful flora and fauna as its motif in capturing the brilliant radiance of life itself. This exhibition traces the history and stylistic evolution of bird-and-flower paintings in East Asia, particularly China and Japan, where their motifs sometimes call up images of alien lands or paradises, are garbed in auspicious implications, or are used in craft designs.

All the paintings will be replaced (or the sections of scrolls on display changed) between the 1st Period (Saturday, September 7 to Sunday, October 6) and the 2nd Period (Tuesday, October 8 to Monday, November 4). Mirrors and ceramics will remain on display throughout the exhibition period.



from September 07, 2019 to November 04, 2019


Adults ¥1100, University and High School Students ¥800.

Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 17:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:On a National holiday Monday the museum is open but closed on the following Tuesday.


Address: 6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
Phone: 03-3400-2536 Fax: 03-3400-2436

8 minute walk from the A5 exit at Omotesando station on the Ginza, Hanzomon and Chiyoda lines.

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