- Europe & Africa
Creative impression: Japanese woodblock prints from the 1950s-60s
Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities
Jun 27, 2017 To Dec 31, 2017
Detail: When many hear the term "Japanese art," many think of woodcuts. In the Japanese collections of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, there are over 1,300 woodcuts from the late 1600s-1800s and around 60 from the 20th century. Japanese woodcuts have been widely famous in the West since the mid-1800s. Indeed, the woodcut genre inspired a renewal of the visual arts in the West.
In the permanent Japan exhibition at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, objects and images tell a story of the country's history and peoples. There is also a gallery that gives visitors a unique opportunity to create smaller displays of light-sensitive and fragile items that can only be exhibited for a limited time.
For six months, we have placed a small selection of woodcut from the 1950s to 1960s on view. These are the kind commonly known as "creative prints" (sōsaku hanga). This type of woodcut is especially known from the early 1900s to the 1960s.
In the majority of the production of woodblock prints, artists collaborated with publishers, printers and wood block carvers; and the artist participated in the design. Artists in the "creative print" movement, however, often often carved, and sometimes even printed, their own works. Many of them use the woodcut technique in a personal and expressive way. Usually, sōsaku hanga-artists are educated in Western art techniques and sometimes work with Western printing techniques. Several have been successful in overseas, especially in America. Some work abstract, others imaginative. Sōsaku hanga-artists' pictures are borne out of Japanese culture, but are equally part of the global art world, sometimes strikingly contemporary.
In this exhibition it is now is possible to see works by famous artists such as Maki Haku (1924-2000), Ryuji Kosaka (1912-1972) and Saitō Kiyoshi (1907-1997).
Ryuji Kosaka (1912-1972): Bamboo