The Ukiyo-e Edo Art Prints have been passed down through generations of craftsmen and have been succeeded by craftsmen centered in Tokyo up until this day.
The ukiyo-e pieces that are exhibited are all ukiyo-e reprints created by carvers and surishis who hold the same techniques from the Edo era.
By looking at the colorful usage of colors, you can feel the romanticism of taking a time slip 150 years ago to the Edo time period.
The exhibit features works not only Katsushika Hokusai, but also Utamaro Kitagawa, Sharaku Toshusai, and Hiroshige Utagawa throughout the exhibition period.
Many colorful ukiyo-e prints seen by the people of the Edo era will come back to life in the present.
What is Ukiyo-e・Edo Woodblock Prints?
This is the colorful carving techniques unique to Japan which bloomed in the Edo era.
Approximately 200 years ago, Ukiyo-e woodblock prints became highly popular among the people of Edo as full-color prints that may be enjoyed by many and became a technique and culture that is still carried out to this day.
Artists drew the sketch and carvers added color by carving the wood, which is then printed on traditional Japanese paper by Surishi crafters in multiple layers. The sketch drawn by Hokusai and Utamaro is gone through the carving process. In addition to the 3 craftsmen described above, the Edo woodblock print is brought together by the technique of the publisher who plans and oversees the work.
By creating a complete division of tasks, an exquisite technique which cannot be found anywhere was created.
That technique has been passed down directly by the hands of the craftsmen for the past 170 years and have been succeeded by craftsmen centered in Tokyo up until this day. The ukiyo-e pieces that are exhibited are all ukiyo-e reprints created by carvers and surishis who hold the same techniques from the Edo period.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa
「The Great Wave off Kanagawa」is Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai’s most famous woodblock print work out of all 46 works of the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.
Vincent Van Gogh highly praised Hokusai’s works and Claude Debussy’s orchestral piece, La mer, was inspired by this artwork.
The main theme of this piece is the contrast between the still and the moving, and the near and the far.
The contrast between the three boats being tossed by the ferocious high waves and swirling billows, against Mount Fuji which stands still far in the distance creates a dramatic artwork with use of bright colors which bring out the scene.
This piece holds extremely high value as this is world-famous Katsushika Hokusai’s most well-known piece and there only exists 200 first prints of this ukiyo-e art print.
- Exhibition Period
- September 12th, 2020～March 22nd, 2021