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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Maria Puzyreva
Recent Trends in the Western Market of Ukiyo-E Prints: An Expansion of the Customer Base in the 21st Century
Asian Studies
(Bachelor’s programme)
8
2017
The study of the current state of the Japanese art market in general and Japanese engravings in particular is for the most part the prerogative of art dealers, curators of galleries and other people involved in this business. As for the scientific community, the existing studies are mainly devoted to the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, when ukiyo-e just appeared on the Western market and drew a lot of attention in the society.

The period of fascination with Japanese art in the US and Europe ended in the first half of the 20th century, and interest in ukiyo-e has weakened. The image of Japanese culture in the West was especially damaged by the actions of Japan during the Second World War on the side of fascist Germany. At that time, Japanese art was perceived as something hostile and alien.

However, in the 21st century changes seem to appear in the market of ukiyo-e. In June 2016 at the auction in Paris Kitagawa Utamaro’s "Deeply Hidden Love" ("Fukaku Shinobu Koi") was sold for 745,000 euros, breaking the record for both the artist and the genre, although the estimate price was 100,000 euros.

This might be a sign that the perception of Japanese art is changing. This work will reveal new trends concerning Japanese art both in the market and in the public opinion and provide insight into their causes and possible consequences, which will be of great importance for contemporary studies of Japanese culture.

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