1 September 2021


a playgrounds eye candy diving into the Japanese art

With it being a tip from our editor Stijn Windig, you can expect works not only rich in artistry, but also in history and traditions. Outdoing himself, Stijn takes us on an epic journey into the art-works of Japanese legend: Katsushika Hokusai.

Stijn: “I have this little book called “Encyclopedia of Hokusai sketches”. I bought it decades ago, and I look at it when I’m drawing but need a brain refresh.
Hokusai may be the most prolific artist in human history. He lived from 31 October 1760 – 10 May 1849.
He is best known for the woodblock print series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally iconic print The Great Wave off Kanagawa. These images have been reprinted so many times that I won’t even include them. We know them so well that they’re hooked in the collective unconscious.
Hokusai drew so much more though. He drew everything he saw, and a lot of stuff that he just made up. Here’s a collection of his more fantastical drawings. “

Also fascinating is how contemporary some of Hokusai’s works look.
His most well-known book is the “Hokusai Manga”, (Hokusai’s sketches). Subjects of the sketches include landscapes, flora and fauna, everyday life and the supernatural. He obviously influences modern Manga to this day.

What strikes me every time I look at it, is Hokusai’s incredible power of observation, as well as the wild joy that emanates from the drawings. His nickname was “Old man that’s obsessed with drawing” 🙂 You can see that the person who drew this was not doing it to make money, neither was he gathering Instagram likes. This is a person who is genuinely, deeply interested in the subjects he is drawing, and in the process of drawing itself.

This last image is nearly sequential, transforming a piece of paper into a bird. I imagine that’s how Hokusai felt: capturing reality and dreams on a sheet of paper.”


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