Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kawase Hasui (update)

Kawase Hasui
Like his contemporary, Hiroshi Yoshida, Kawase Hasui was a renowned woodblock print artist of the Shin hanga, or “new prints” movement in early 20th Century Japan.

Also like Yoshida, Hasui traveled extensively and produced images of a variety of locations, though not as much outside of Japan as Yoshida. Instead, Hasui sought out remote landscapes within an increasingly industrialized and populated Japan.

His prints are often of scenes in snow, rain, twilight or darkness, though bright sunlight can also play its part, and he can be wonderfully evocative of different atmospheric and light conditions.

Many of his earliest prints, which are considered by some to be his best work, were lost in an earthquake in 1923. They must have been stunning because those that remain are extraordinarily beautiful.

Since my previous post on Kawase Hsui, some new sources for images have become available on the web. In addition to the web resources listed below, there is a currently in print collection of his work Visions of Japan (Kawase Hasui). You can also find his work in broader collections of Japanese woodblock prints.

7 thoughts on “Kawase Hasui (update)

  1. David Brasgalla

    What amazing work! I have long had a beautiful print of a woman walking in the evening rain, but I’ve never known who created the print. When I saw certain of these prints, I felt it just might be Kawase Hsui. I did some digging, and it turns out to be Shiro Kasamatsu (Rainy Night at Shinobazu Pond) instead. Still, an old personal mystery solved, and a new artist discovered, so thank you on both counts!

  2. Chantal Fournier

    Beautiful beautiful art. I’m also a fan of contemporary art using that style. Which brings me to the suggestion that maybe you’d find this guy interesting: Matthew Meyer is an american living in Japan with his japanese wife. His art is still a little rough around the edges but for two years he had the “Yokai a day” project, during which he painted a traditional japanese monster/demon/ghost everyday of October. This year, he successfully kickstarted an illustrated book project and is almost done working on a book about japanese demons, with all new monster paintings. His blog is at matthewmeyer.net in the Fans section. There is a bit of non-yokai noise in there, but this is a good exemple of a yokai painting. http://www.matthewmeyer.net/blog/2011/07/29/night-parade-preview-nozuchi
    Thank you for keeping up with the blog, I always enjoy discovering new artists.

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