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Maker(s):Yamaguchi Akira
Culture:Japanese (1969- )
Title:Trick Riding: Holding on for Eternities: (reimagined work for Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)’s Artisans, from the series “Industriousness of the People in an Age of Blessings,” 1843–1847, 2005.1131, and Utagawa Kunisada II’s Tarakichi Hayatake from Osaka, 1857, 2005.1010)
Date Made:2016
Materials:Japanese ink and watercolor on paper
Measurements:sight: 15 x 10.75"
Accession Number:  AC 2017.25
Credit Line:Purchase with Wise Fund for Fine Arts
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
As artworks designed for low-brow popular appeal, ukiyo-e were often filled with ribald and humorous puns, which could often be quite lascivious. In this dynamic design, Yamaguchi employs both text and rebus-like understandings of the original figures to similar effect. For example, in the original Japanese title, Yamaguchi has inverted two of the characters, changing the meaning from “eternities” (literally, “1000 autumns”) to “swing,” a reference to the acrobatic display. Similarly, the phrase “trick riding” has sexual connotations, indicating that the actor who portrays a cowherd in the lowest panel and the weaver at top are waiting — or “holding on for eternities” — until their sexual liaison. Perhaps confounded by the challenge of linking these two disparate designs, Yamaguchi has signed his name using a homophone for “complaint” and “giving up.”

weaving; flowers; fans; women; men; balances; humor

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2 Related Media Items


2 Related Objects

AC 2005.1010
Utagawa Kunisada II
Portrait of Tarakichi Hayatake of Osaka
AC 2005.1131
Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)
"Artisans", from the series “Industriousness of the People in an Age of Blessings" incomplete
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