Japanese myth and tradition in the contemporary imagination

April 18 - September 6, 2015
Contemporary Gallery

Discover the samurai, in history and popular culture! Guest curator Eric Nakamura, editor and founder of Giant Robot Magazine, combines historical Japanese arms and armor from the Worcester Art Museum and John Woodman Higgins collections with work by contemporary artists inspired by samurai and their enduring myth.

Read an exclusive interview with Eric Nakamura in access magazine

Funding for Samurai! has been provided in part by a generous grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Sponsored by:

united bank foundation

Artists in the Exhibition

Mural Project
Andrew Hem
Mari Inukai
Audrey Kawasaki

On View
Miya Ando
Esao Andrews
Shawn Cheng
Josh Cochran
Moira Hahn
Jed Henry
James Jean

Mu Pan

Ferris Plock
Stan Sakai
Masakatsu Sashie
Rob Sato
Yuko Shimizu
Katsuya Terada
Kent Williams

Featuring Arms and armor from the Worcester Art Museum and John Woodman Higgins collections

Samurai! Mural Painting

Now on view in the Lancaster Lobby
Three new murals painted for the Worcester Art Museum by Andrew Hem, Mari Inukai, Audrey Kawasaki.

See work-in-progress photos on Flickr.

Mural sketches by Audrey Kawasaki © Audrey Kawasaki:


via NECN: Exhibit Features Fresh Interpretations of Samurai

Video: WAM Makes List of 39 Museums Around The World To Visit - Charter TV3
The mural to the story - Worcester Magazine
The art of the ancient warrior: Discover connections between the Samurai and 'Star Wars' at Worcester Art Museum - Lowell Sun
Video: Samurai! on Open Studio With Jared Bowen -WGBH
Majestic murals at Worcester Art Museum - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Samurai: Still on cutting edge at Worcester Art Museum - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Contemporary artists explore Samurai in popular culture with new exhibition - Art Daily
Critic's picks: Art - The Boston Globe
Preview: "Samurai!" Group Exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum - Hi-Fructose Magazine

Select Images

View more Samurai! Related Objects in our Collections Search

Downloadable 8.5x11" Flyers

Right-click and choose Save As.

The Giant Samurai Party!

Click here to see photos from this event on Flickr!

Experience the old world meeting the new in this whirlwind celebration of traditional samurai arms & armor, on view alongside the work of contemporary artists that have been inspired by its history. Japanese taiko drummers from Odaiko New England (members-only hour) set the tone for the evening, which is packed with performances from shakuhachi master flutist Elizabeth Reian Bennett, theatrics, band The RiCECOOKERS, The Nom Nom Hut Japanese food truck, and more. Cash bar; Valet parking available.

Download a schedule of events

Media Sponsor:

giant robot

Friends of the Arts Sponsor:

giant robot