Hommage à Hokusai

27 Oct 2018 - 01 Nov 2018

Festive opening Saturday 27 October 2018 12:00


12 - 18 hrs


Galleri Upsala 1810
Svartbäcksgatan 21
753 32 Uppsala

One of Hokusai's many sources of inspiration was water. And in this collective exhibition, we are motivated by nine selected pieces of Japanese woodcuts.

Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎 (1760– 1849) was a Japanese artist born in Edo (now Tokyo) and  is best known as author of the woodblock print series 'Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji' ,which includes the internationally iconic print 'Under the Wave off Kanagawa'.

Hokusai began painting around the age of six, perhaps learning from his father, who was a mirror maker whose work included also painting of designs around mirrors.  At the age of 12, his father sent him to work in a bookshop and library, a popular type of institution in Japanese cities, where reading books made from wood-cut blocks was a popular entertainment of the middle and upper classes. He worked as an apprentice to a wood-carver, until the age of 18, when he entered the studio of Katsukawa Shunshō who was an artist of ukiyo-e, a style of woodblock prints and paintings that focused on images of the courtesans and Kabuki actors who were popular in Japan's cities.
Later Hokusai began exploring other styles of art, including European styles he was exposed to through French and Dutch copper engravings he was able to acquire. He changed the subjects of his works, moving away from the images of courtesans and actors, focusing instead on landscapes and images of the daily life of Japanese people. This change of subject was a breakthrough in ukiyo-e and in Hokusai's career. That year, he published two collections of landscapes ' Famous Sights of the Eastern Capital' and 'Eight Views of Edo'. He also began to attract students of his own, eventually teaching 50 pupils over the course of his life. 1807 saw Hokusai collaborate with the popular novelist  Takizawa Bakin on a series of illustrated books. He also created the Hokusai Manga (random sketches) and various art manuals.

Hokusai had a long career, but he produced most of his important work after the age of 60 (according to Japanese tradition the beginning of seconf life). His most famous work 'Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji', including the famous 'Under the Wave off Kanagawa', was produced in the early 1830s. It proved so popular that Hokusai later added ten more prints to the series. Among the other popular series of prints he published during this time are 'A Tour of the Waterfalls of the Provinces', 'Oceans of Wisdom', 'Unusual Views of Celebrated Bridges in the Provinces' and 'One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji'.

Hokusai was known by at least thirty names during his lifetime (the use of multiple names was a common practice of Japanese artists of the time). By 1800 he adopted the name he would most widely be known by Katsushika Hokusai, the former name referring to the part of Edo where he was born and the latter meaning 'North Studio'.

Participating artworks:

Shop Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan

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