The Yoshiwara II
LAURA PHARIS (b. Roanoke, Virginia, 1948)
The Yoshiwara II, 1987
Collection of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts
Virginia Artists Collection
Gift of the artist
Here the title of the work references the infamous red-light district in Edo (present-day Tokyo, Japan). Laura Pharis explains, “My mezzotint The Yoshiwara combines my interest in Japanese printmaking, especially the woodcuts in the style called ‘Ukiyo-e,’ with some Native American imagery, specifically the idea of representing the soul as a fish with a woman’s face. I have, from time to time, kept fancy goldfish as pets, and find their useless beauty and their captivity evocative.”
Pharis earned her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is a faculty member in the art department at Sweet Briar College. Another of her prints can be seen in the first floor hallway in this building.