TATSU: Depictions of Dragons in Japanese Art


Art Exhibition

TATSU: Depictions of Dragons in Japanese Art


February 23 - April 27, 2024


Mon-Sat 12:00pm-6:00pm
Closed on Sundays & Holiday (March


The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Hall
(5700 Wilshire Blvd.,#100, Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Admission: FREE


The year 2024 is the Year of the Dragon in the East Asian zodiac. Japan Foundation Los Angeles will celebrate this year with the exhibition TATSU: Depictions of Dragons in Japanese Art. Featuring art works from three local collections and curated by Meher McArthur, the exhibition celebrates the dragon as a beloved motif in a wide range of Japanese art, from paintings and prints to ceramics, metalwork, and textiles. 


The Japanese dragon, known as tatsu or ryū (readings of the Chinese character "龍" simplified to "竜"), is largely inspired by the Chinese dragon, or long (龍), a benevolent creature associated with imperial power and protection. However, dragons have also featured in native Japanese mythology and legends and in all types of art for many centuries. This exhibition will include a variety of dynamic and beautiful Japanese art works that depict the dragon not only as an exciting mythical creature but an enduring symbol of power and protection.


This exhibition is curated by Meher McArthur.

  Meher McArthur
Meher McArthur is an Asian art historian specializing in Japanese art, with degrees from Cambridge University and London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She was Curator of East Asian Art at Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA (1998-2006) and for over a decade has curated traveling exhibitions for International Arts & Artists (IA&A), most recently Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper (2021-2024) on view at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego until January 7, 2024. Her most recent exhibition SHIKI: The Four Seasons in Japanese Art opened at the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens in February 2023. She was Creative Director for the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, Pasadena (2014-2020), Academic Curator for Scripps College, Claremont (2018-2020) and Art and Cultural Director for JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles (2020-2022). Her major publications include Gods and Goblins: Folk Paintings from Otsu (PAM, 1999), Reading Buddhist Art (Thames & Hudson, 2002) and The Arts of Asia (Thames & Hudson, 2005), Confucius (Pegasus Books, 2011), Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (IA&A, 2012), New Expressions in Origami Art (Tuttle, 2017), Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper  (IA&A, 2021) and An ABC of What Art Can Be (The Getty Museum, 2010).

Event Details:

  • Date Feb 23 -Apr 27 , 2024
  • Hours Mon-Sat: 12:00pm-6:00pm, Closed on Sundays and Holiday (March 20)
  • Venue 5700 Wilshire Blvd., #100 Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • Admission FREE Admission, NO RSVP Required
  • Inquiries

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