1.04 – 2.07.2023
THE MEMORY OF MODERNITY. Drawings by Japanese Children in the Levoni Collection
The new exhibition of the Dèibambini cycle presents 53 drawings of Japanese children dating back to 1938 and fortunately rediscovered a few years ago by the Mantuan collector Gloria Levoni. They are a small part of the approximately four million drawings that were made for a competition among school children in the Axis countries – Japan, Germany and Italy. In that context, Japanese schoolchildren were told to document that their country had now become fully modern. However, it was not possible to transform the language of the young artists. And so, Western-style buildings, metal bridges, petrol stations and light poles mingle with gardens, the tiles of old houses, rice paper windows and the omnipresent outline of Mount Fuji. The chromaticisms, then, the same as in ukiyo-e, mark the profound continuity of a world-view specific to the Japanese cultural tradition.