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Hokusai and Japonisme

Hokusai and Japonisme

In a nutshell
Hokusai is not only one of Japan’s most famous artists but he is well known and beloved outside Japan as well. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view Hokusai’s work side by side with famous French and other European art to see how the one influenced the other. Works by Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet demonstrate that Hokusai’s work featuring flowers, nature and the everyday poses of human beings directly influenced some of the world’s most famous artists. There are over 40 Hokusai woodblock prints over 200 Western art works.

The venue
The National Museum of Western Art is well suited enough for the exhibit, which is very popular and therefore quite crowded. There was a short line at 10:00 am on a weekday but a long line by 11:30. There is a bottleneck at the beginning to see the manga/sketches in glass cases. The crowding eases up as you go along. Wearing heels can allow seeing over the close in observers at times.

English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)
The audio guide and the extensive lists of artworks are available in English. All the wall text is in English as well but the font used on the artwork descriptions is super tiny and white and is very hard to read even close up.

The feels
The chance to see the ukiyo-e master’s work together with the Japonisme works he inspired is significant. Seeing the famous Impressionist works through the lens of Hokusai emphasizes the breadth and depth of the effect of his work.

Appeal
Because these different art forms are displayed together, most art lovers will really enjoy this exhibition. It’s another great way to learn more about Japan through Western idea of Japonisme.

How far out?
Centrally located in Ueno Park..

How much time? 
A good hour and a half. There are about 300 works on display. 

How much money?
¥1,600 for general admission

Until when?
January 28, 2018

Rating: make a special trip, see it if you’re in the area or have some free time, see it only if you like this specific type of art
Definitely see it if you’re in the area, make a special trip if you love Hokusai and want to learn about his influence on Western art.

Links:
https://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/exhibitions/2017hokusai.html

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