Doctor of Arts Tuula Moilanen: The time of cherry blossoms – the Japanese view of time and its reflection in woodblock printing​

The visual artist Tuula Moilanen, Doctor of Arts, discusses how simultaneous layers of time and the cycle of seasons are manifested in Japanese woodblock prints.

  • 9.11.2022 at 18–19
in Finnish
White Cellar
Tickets: with a museum ticket
16 €/ 14 €/ Museum Card. Entry is free for those under 18 years. 50 seats. No advance registration. First come first served. Please sign up when buying your ticket.

The lecture reveals a surprising connection between the view of time and the Japanese language, and offers practical tips on how to interpret ukiyo-e images.

Japanese time moves on several levels. Underneath Western chronology runs cyclical time, based on imperial periods and the changing of the seasons. A significant notion is the ever-moving now moment, which contains the past and the future. According to this notion, what is momentary can be simultaneously construed as eternal.

A prime example of this is the cherry blossoms, often depicted in woodblock prints. These are symbols of the momentary, while at the same time incorporating the eternal cycle of life: the splendour of the blossoming trees is over in a couple of weeks, but it repeats every spring in a similar fashion.

Moilanen is known in Finland as an expert in Japanese woodblock printing and traditional papermaking. She lived in Kyoto, Japan, for more than twenty years, exploring the country’s culture and art in depth through everyday life.