Pierre Sernet & SHUNGA

Kaitlin & John, 2016 © SP2X

Kaitlin & John, 2016
© SP2X

Poem of the Pillow (Uta makura) / Kitagawa Utamaro / 1788 Uragami Mitsuru collection

Poem of the Pillow (Uta makura) / Kitagawa Utamaro / 1788
Uragami Mitsuru collection

2019.3.13 WED - 4.7 SUN

12:00 - 19:30 / Free admission

- 1st Period:  3.13 WED-3.27 WED
- 2nd Period:  3.29 FRI-4.7 SUN
(Closed on 3.28)


This exhibition will feature Synonyms, the latest series of photographs by the French performance artist and photographer, Pierre Sernet, together with shunga, a genre of Japanese art that has received increased international attention in recent years.
Sernet’s photographs portray intimately engaged nude couples, expressed as black-and-white silhouettes. In a similar vein, we will also be presenting numerous famous shunga belonging to Uragami Sokyu-do’s Mitsuru Uragami Collection. During the Edo period (1603–1868) shunga was a popular genre and many of the great woodblock print artists, including SUZUKI Harunobu, KITAGAWA Utamaro, KATSUSHIKA Hokusai, etc. turned their hand to it. Shunga were later to have a strong influence on the Impressionists and Pablo Picasso in the West. This exhibition offers a valuable opportunity to enjoy the contrast between the fine lines, color and bold compositions of the Edo prints and Sernet’s contemporary photographic representation of shunga.

*This exhibition includes works which explicitly show sexual images. With this understanding, please enter the exhibition at your own discretion.


Pierre Sernet

Pierre Sernet studied art at the Ateliers du Carrousel of the Musée du Louvre, Paris. In his early twenties, after working in photography for several years, he moved to the United States, where he pursued a successful business career. His activities included the creation of the first, and what was to become the largest, fine arts database in the world— Since returning to his art-making, he has performed and exhibited in major galleries and museums in the United States and abroad.



The exhibition will be held in Kyoto, in April 2019 as a part of the KYOTOGRAPHIE international photography festival program.

2019.4.13 SAT- 5.12 SUN