Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave, British Museum
Discover Japan's greatest artist at this London Hokusai exhibition
It is monstrous. Against a parchment-grey sky, its white talons and navy guts promise to shred and swallow the wooden fishing boats below. Japan's grandest mountain, Fuji, dwindles to a barnacle against its bulk.
The Great Wave is perhaps Japan's most familiar artwork. iPhone wallpapers, T-shirts, dog-eared posters in student halls - we know Hokusai's woodcut so well that we no longer stop to consider it.
This May, though, the British Museum stages an exhibition that will make us look twice at this beloved icon and its creator. Hokusai: Beyond the Great wave will provide new insight into the prodigiously productive last thirty years of Hokusai’s life and art from around 1820 to 1849.
Painter and print-maker Katsushika Hokusai has contributed to Japan's visual language perhaps more than any other artist. His landscapes, bestiaries, dreamscapes and wave imagery bring to life an incredibly vivid world, half-imagined, half-observed. For Hokusai and his contemporaries the perceived connected invisibly with a parallel world of powerful ‘unseen’ force: vengeful spirits, ghosts and imps were never far away.
Concentrating on his final years, the exhibition will shed light on Hokusai’s personal beliefs and his spiritual and artistic quest through major paintings, drawings, woodblock prints and illustrated books. From his eighty-eighth year until his death at age ninety, these extraordinary last works show that the artist had indeed reached a sublime realm in his beliefs and art. A show to treasure.
|What||Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave, British Museum|
Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3DG
|Nearest tube||Russell Square (underground)|
25 May 2017 – 13 Aug 2017, Saturday –Thursday 10.00–17.30 Friday 10.00–20.30 Last entry 80 minutes before closing time
|Price||£12.00, children under 16 free|
|Website||Click here for more information|