Japanese American National Museum
Past Exhibitions

ON THE ROAD at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition

May 29 - November 29, 2015


Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
200 N. Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220

Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World (original title) 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), 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.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
200 N. Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220

For more information about this presentation, contact 804.340.1405 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.



Jump to Top of Page Japanese American National Museum home
Copyright © 1998-2018 Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles California 90012   ▪   phone: (213) 625-0414