Your guide to Newcastle’s Japanese Tattoo exhibition, Perseverance

Newcastle Live -


An exciting photographic exhibition exploring the art of traditional Japanese tattooing is now on show a the Newcastle Museum. This is the first time the installation has been shown in Australia, so we’re going to walk you through all the ground breaking aspects of the exhibition and give you a sneak peak of some of the event’s the museum has planned for us.


What: Perseverance features the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists – Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka), Horitomo, Horishiki, Miyazo, Shige, Junii and Yokohama Horiken – along with tattoo works by selected others. Through the display of a variety of photographs, including life-sized pictures of full body tattoos, these artists cover a broad spectrum of the current world of Japanese tattooing. Although tattooing is largely seen as an underground activity in Japan, Japanese tattoo artists have risen to become internationally acclaimed artists. Through the endurance and dedication of these artists, Japanese tattooing has persevered and is now internationally renowned for its artistry, lineage, historical symbolism, and skill.

When: Thu 9 Feb – Sun 30 Apr 2017 (10:00am – 05:00pm)

Where: Newcastle Museum

Cost: Adult $10 / Concession and ages 12-18 $8 / Children under 12 Free


What: Studio Ghibli Screenings! Explore the remarkable world of Japanese animation with free showings of Studio Ghibli films. Join us Sunday afternoons in March for a series of Hayao Miyazaki masterpieces. From the historical to the fantastical these gorgeously animated films will captivate and enthral. Bring your own beanbag and snacks and enjoy these amazing films on a big screen.

When: 13:00–15:00 -Bookings are essential. See below for screening dates

Where: Newcastle Museum 

Cost: Free, bookings essential on 02 4974 1401

The Wind Rises
1pm | Sunday 5 March

1pm | Sunday 12 March

Laputa: Castle in the Sky
1pm | Sunday 19 March

Porco Rosso
1pm | Sunday 26 March


What: Japanese Tattooing Talk and Demo with Kian Forreal. Kian ‘Horisumi’ Forreal is a Sydney-based tattoo artist whose expertise and passion lies within traditional Japanese tattooing or irezumi. Kian has been tattooing worldwide for more than two decades and in the Japanese style for the last 10 years. In 2013, he was given the name ‘Horisumi’ by a Japanese tattoo master due to his exquisite artistic Japanese inspired style gained after working for over 20 years in the industry. Kian will discuss his practice, introducing some of the tools and techniques of his trade before showing them in action with a live tattooing demo

When: 1:30pm-3pm | Sunday 23 April

Where: Newcastle Museum

Cost: Free, bookings essential on 02 4974 1401


What: A night of tattooing and Japanese culture at our special Perseverance-themed NM PM after-hours event.

Live demonstrations of tattooing
Displays by local tattoo artists and studios
Demonstrations and performances exploring Japanese culture
Japanese food and drink
Show and Shine featuring classic
Japanese cars and bikes

If the pressures of modern life prevent you from visiting the museum during the day come along and explore the museum after hours. You’ll be able to view Perseverance – the ground breaking photographic exhibition celebrating the artistry of tradition Japanese tattoos. There will be live demonstrations of tattooing, displays by local tattoo artists and studios as well as demonstrations and performances exploring Japanese culture.

You’ll be able to relax with Japanese food and drink or marvel at our museum Show and Shine featuring classic Japanese cars and bikes. There will be so much to see, explore and experience! So ink up and immerse yourself in a night of after hours fun at Newcastle Museum!

When: 5pm-9:30pm | Friday 10 March

Where: Newcastle Museum

Cost: Free performances and displays / Entry fees apply to Perseverance exhibition


What: Newcastle Art Gallery curator Sarah Johnson will explore the contents and origins of the Gallery’s remarkable Japanese ceramics collection. A selection of these works will be exhibited at the Museum to coincide with Perseverance, including both Mingei ‘folk art’ and Sodeisha avant-garde non-functional ware. The Gallery has the largest collection of Sodeisha ware in the Southern Hemisphere.

When: 5:30pm-7pm | Thursday 16 March

Where: Newcastle Museum 


What: Simply put, Shibori is Japanese for tie dye. Learn how to stitch, wrap, tie, fold, clamp and twist fabric to create beautiful patterns with traditional blue indigo dye. No experience required – just some homework to be done before the class… We provide the expertise and indigo, and you just need to bring fabric and enthusiasm.

When: 10am-12 noon | Saturday 25 March & 1pm-3pm | Saturday 25 March

Cost: Free, bookings essential on 02 4974 1401

If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live

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