The Ackland Art Museum’s exhibition "Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905" captures the cultural and historical perspectives of Japanese woodblock prints from the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War at the turn of the 20th century.
With the rise of modern war technologies, such as electric searchlights, explosions, fog and long-range ammunition, Japanese printmakers utilized new atmospheric and light effects to document battle scenes.
The exhibition showcases part of a large gift the Ackland received of over 240 Japanese prints from Gene and Susan Roberts. The gift contains several prints that are rare, some of which have never been published before or seen in an American display.
“It's unique to find ones that are in as good of condition as the ones we have on display,” said Lauren Turner, Ackland's assistant curator. “You really get to see some of the vibrancy behind the printmaking.”
"Flash of Light, Fog of War" was organized by Bradley Bailey, the Ackland's first associate curator of Asian art. Bailey explored the history of the prints, as well as their installation, creating a sense of theatricality throughout the display.