Outopos is an interactive diagram, that works only in the form of a website. Its hypertext structure is based on a series of graphics, text, and animation. In its design, the diagram is a conceptual grid, which creates a variable, visual essay, on the subject of utopia as the perfect non-existent place, “non-place” (outopos). The virtual space, where the work is located, is particularly suited to contemporary reflection on the topic of utopia, fitting into the framework of the construction of the new world.
Toshūsai Sharaku is one of the most enigmatic Japanese artists. The woodcuts signed with his name come from the period between May 1794 and January 1795. A total of about 150 Sharaku card images depict actors from the Kabuki theatre; these are projects with a completely different new form of expression, often close to a caricature.
Beautiful women of the oiran offered an attractive subject for artists dealing with Japanese wood engravings; it peaked in the Edo epoch (1603–1868). Elusiveness and passing, so strongly featured in the philosophy of this period, made people seize the current moment and celebrate the joy stemming from watching flowers or admiring the Moon.
Utagawa Hiroshige occupied a special place in the collection by Feliks Jasieński: the collection gathered more than 2,000 woodcut boards by this artist. The abundantly represented landscape genre helps us appreciate Hiroshige as an artist who was considered to be the master of recreating the mood created by snow, rain and fog.
Hikifudas were designed and sold by publishers. The most common motifs placed on cards were those of cranes, gods of fortune, as well as Mount Fuji. Designs depicting a specific type of activity were hardly ever made, as such orders were much more expensive. However, while creating a design, an empty space was left where a merchant could place some information about his shop or workshop. Such inscriptions, most often stylised as calligraphy, were usually written by hand. However, they could be also printed with woodcut matrix, almost like stamps.
The inscription in the field of view, at the top, in the middle, in the cartouche: CRACOVIA / MINORIS POLONIAE METROPOLIS.; in the central part, against the river: VISTULAFL. REGNVM DIVIDENS; in the lower left corner a cartouche with a legend in two columns, which explains the type and name of the fourteen buildings marked with letters in the view; on the frame of the cartouche on the left the date, “A(nn)o 1617”; below the legend “Depictum ab Egidio vander Rye / communic Georgius Houfnaglius”.
Rashomon is a poster by Wojciech Fangor and was created in tribute to the famous film of the same title. While this very film of 1950 brought the name of Akira Kurosawa to the top of the world cinematography, Wojciech Fangor's poster helped to popularise this work in Poland.
This poster by Jerzy Flisak is distinguished, above all, by its unusual display of two fighting figures depicted in the form of a white pictograph placed against a brown background. Naturally, the image brings to mind an association with the writing system used by the Japanese — kanji signs, and due to this connection, the poster is imbued with a deeper meaning. The author uses both a subtle pattern and a metaphor, and skilfully combines the images with a story.
Doświetlanie [Illuminating], by Monika Niwelińska, was inspired by the system of natural lighting of the first floor at the BWA Exhibition Pavilion in Kraków – today’s Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art. The artist made an analysis of the specific history and topography of the place in the form of an installation, which was once lit up by sun rays coming through the skylights in the ceiling, and it underwent a transformation in the early years of the institution’s operation due to architectural interference. An intriguing architectural solution, which was planned in the 1960s by the Gallery’s architect, Krystyna Tołłoczko-Różyska, turned out to be utopian. The roof began to leak quickly.
The panorama comes from the sixth volume of the publication by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cologne 1617, tab. 43). It is unsigned. Some inscriptions are visible on ribbons placed against the sky above the respective cities and suburbs: LOBZOVIA, PROMNIK, CLEPARDIA, CRACOVIA METROPOLIS REGNI POLONIAE, STRADOMIA, CASIMIRIA and — without a ribbon — Opidum Iudeorum. In the upper right corner, the legend provides the types and names of ten buildings marked with numbers next to them. In cartouches placed above the relevant parts, there are the coats of arms of: Kleparz, Kraków, Sforza Snake, Polish Eagle, Pogoń, and Kazimierz.
In the collection of the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, there is an edition of the work 100 views of Mount Fuji by Katsushiki Hokusai. Hokusai was one of the most famous Japanese artists and he created old ukiyo-e woodcuts (Japanese: “a view of the world that passes away”).
The idea of a comic strip about Feliks Jasieński, the Centre's patron, was the brainchild of Andrzej Wajda. The artwork was produced by Jakub Woynarowski in 2010, and it tells the story of a superhero – a Polish collector of Japanese art entangled in affairs of a social and health nature. Jakub Woynarowski keeps the story in perspective by using quite sophisticated, although simple looking means of expression – foreshortening, synthesis, as well as undertones.
This poster created by Jan Młodożeniec stands out due to its interesting appearance which resembles the traditional Japanese woodcut ukiyo-e.
It is the oldest representation of Kraków and the cities of Kazimierz and Kleparz. It was made for the requirements of what was, at that time, the monumental historical and geographical atlas, Liber Cronicarum, by Hartmann Schedl. The view is in an intermediate form between a panorama and a plan, which means that the side elevations have been taken into account in the restoration of the city development, and, at the same time, the area is shown slightly from above. It presents a schematic image of the buildings, to some extent in accordance with the reality of Kraków from the end of the 15th century, that provides the impression of being an accurate reflection of its topography. It is not, however, accurate in its detail, and does not reproduce the actual location and appearance of the buildings.