Japanese American National Museum
Past Exhibitions

ON THE ROAD at The Japan Foundation, Sydney: Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World

September 28 - November 12, 2016


The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Chippendale, AUSTRALIA

Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World is a groundbreaking photographic exhibition that explores the master craftsmanship of traditional Japanese tattoos and their enduring influence on modern tattoo practices.

Even as Japanese-style tattooing has moved into the mainstream, it remains an enigmatic and misunderstood art form. Mainstream Japanese society denounces it as a criminal practice, associating it more with some of its yakuza clientele than with its respected artists. Western practitioners and aficionados, on the other hand, often lack knowledge of the practice’s long history, reducing it to an exotic form of decoration.

Perseverance aims to shift the conversation around Japanese tattoo practice by examining it as a serious art form, placing it in a rich artistic lineage that includes ukiyo-e and other traditional Japanese printing techniques. The exhibition also looks at the vibrancy of current Japanese-style tattoo practices, which include hybrid styles developed by practitioners in Japan, Europe, and the United States.

Designed by artist Kip Fulbeck and curated by master tattoo artist and author Takahiro Kitamura, Perseverance features stunning color photographs by Fulbeck of the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists: Horishiki (Chris Brand), Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka), Horitomo, Junii, Miyazo, Shige, and Yokohama Horiken, along with additional images of works by other artists. The accompanying catalogue includes full-color reproductions along with informative essays by the curators and several contributing artists.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008

For more information about this presentation, contact 02.8239.0055 or visit their website at


Visit the JANM exhibition site for more information, artist bios, and more.

Perseverance was on display at the Japanese American National Museum from March 8 through September 14, 2014.



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