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The Japan Foundation, Sydney

Steam Dreams: The Japanese Public Bath

Where
The Japan Foundation
The Japan Foundation
Level 4, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008
When

Fridays, 10am to 6pm Saturdays, 10am to 4pm Friday 26 February to Saturday 22 May

Steam Dreams: The Japanese Public Bath plunges into the world of sentō—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 sentō culture of Japan.

Steam Dreams features commissioned works by Mizuki Tanaka and Toshizō Hirose, architectural illustrations by Honami Enya, historical photographs of sentō by Kimbei Kusakabe and others, as well as contemporary photographs by Kōtaro Imada, and sentō artefacts from the Mosaic Tile Museum, Tajimi. The exhibition also presents community art from the active sentō 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 Shōwa-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

Covid-safe information

People will be required to adhere to the 1.5 sq metre social distancing guideline. Admission will be capped in accordance to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

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