Exhibition: Autumn River, Persimmon Moon


Exhibition 3-30 April 2012

Rare Books & Special Collection

Level 1, Barr Smith Library

This exhibition is composed in response to a precious old book brought back from Japan by Sir Samuel Way in the 19th century. It inspires the poetics of the ancient capitals of Kamakura and Kyoto.

The title of the exhibition, “Autumn River, Persimmon Moon” is in homage to the writing of such contemporaries as Murakami Haruki, or Haruki Murakami as he is known in the West. Murakami’s artistic literary vision in creating such titles for his novels as “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman”, is the contemporary dimension of a historic evolution of art spanning back through the centuries, driven by Japan’s ethos of the relationship between the visual and literary arts, theatre, tea ceremony and the celebration of the beauty of the natural world in Zen philosophy.

In the tradition of Murakami and his predecessors, “Autumn River, Persimmon Moon” reflects Japan’s ideology of the observance of the passing of the seasons, and the life landmarks of time and place.

Translations by Wendy Ella Wright of Japanese poetry, both ancient and avant garde, are on display, as well as some evocative and diverse glimpses into the tradition of the arts of Japan from the Rare Books and Special Collections of the Barr Smith Library, the South Australian Museum and Wendy Ella Wright’s own collection.

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