Japanese art is rich in animal imagery—humorous badgers, mysterious foxes, divine horses, and fearsome lion-dogs. That is the theme of the newest exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Animals in Japanese Art is now open. Kelly spoke with HoMA Curator of Asian Art, Shawn Eichman, who shared about some of the highlights of the exhibition, and how the symbolism of animals in art can provide a fresh look at human behavior. 

Shawn shared about some of the exciting pieces, “One of the highlights is the museum’s early copy of the celebrated set of handscroll paintings Frolicking Animals, which was recently loaned to the Tokyo National Museum, where it hung alongside the original twelfth century paintings that inspired it. Frolicking Animals depicts various beasts mimicking humans as they play games, dance, make music, and perform religious ceremonies. Another exquisitely painted and rarely displayed work entitled Stable is a six-panel screen from the Momoyama period depicting horses.” 

The exhibition will be on view at HoMA through July 23.  

For more information, visit www.honolulumuseum.org