Steam Dreams: The Japanese Public Bath


Steam Dreams: The Japanese Public Bath plunges into the world of sento—the history of the public bath, the importance of its preservation and the future of Japanese communal bathing culture. Through a diverse selection of works including historical artefacts, retro-pop ephemera, mural painting, contemporary photography, illustration, and local community art, Steam Dreams presents an introduction to the multifaceted sento culture of Japan.

Steam Dreams features commissioned works by Mizuki Tanaka and Toshizo Hirose, architectural illustrations by Honami Enya, historical photographs of sento by Kimbei Kusakabe and others, as well as contemporary photographs by Kotaro Imada, and sento artefacts from the Mosaic Tile Museum, Tajimi. The exhibition also presents community art from the active sento establishment Katsura-yu and various archival objects retrieved from Japanese public bathhouses from Bunkyo Youth Society of Architecture.

Curated by Eloise Rapp and Simonne Goran, this exhibition gives attendees the unique chance to appreciate the progression of Japanese bath culture from over 150 years ago until now by tracing the distinct bathing practices of Meiji and Showa-periods such as design transitions from wooden floors to tiled interiors, the implemented gender division, and the connection back to nature through mural artistry.

An event program featuring film screenings, workshops and a catalogue launch will run in conjunction with the exhibition. For more information visit the website.


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




(02) 8239 0055,

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