There’s a new exhibition in London’s east end that sounds very interesting. From the blurb:
‘Visitors to Hokusai Exposed will be immersed in the works of the great Japanese Master, Katsushika Hokusai, “re-created” using state-of the-art digital technology, as well as the vibrant 3D streets and pleasure districts of Edo, 18th century Tokyo. The world of ukiyo-e style woodblock prints will be brought to life in a unique event which engages all the senses and is the first showcase of the “re-create” concept outside of Japan.’
There’s also a Hokusai Exposed sake bar (3-6pm Sun-Th/3-9pm F-Sat) featuring three of Tengu Sake’s selections. A glass starts at £2 and it’s a great way to enjoy what looks to be a very cool re-imagining of Hokusai’s works (he’s the guy who did the Great Wave, amongst other famous prints).
Check out www.hokusaiexposed.com
NB – I’ve now been to this exhibition and it’s well worth a visit. They have some stunning recreations of Hokusai’s “36 Views of Mt Fuji” – a series of classic prints. Some people have suggested that digitally printing these works of art de-values them. The Guardian, in particular, seem to have got a bee in their bonnet about this one saying, “Decay is part of the life of art. Of course we can’t see Jackson Pollock’s Lavender Mist, or Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, or Hokusai’s Great Wave, as they looked the day they were made – but why would we want to?”
Unfortunately they seemed to have missed the point; if there’s any medium that this technique is suited to it’s woodblock printing. An artist’s carving might be printed any number of times by different printers using different inks. There is no ‘definitive’ version of a print (some are more famous than others, though) so it seems to me a perfectly valid expression of the work. New printing techniques, different result. Different but not invalid.
Anyway, go check it out for yourself!