Detail: Moonlit Sea Prints of Easthampton MA is presenting its inaugural exhibition, Shin-hanga Expressions of Landscapes, exploring underlying emotions of solitude, wonderment, quietness and reflection through prints by Kawase Hasui, Takashi Ito, Shiro Kasamatsu, Tsuchiya Koitsu, Ito Yuhan and others. February 4th through February 27th; open the first weekend, by appointment the rest of the month.
Japanese woodblock print art (ukiyo-e or “picture[s] of the floating world”), at the end of the 1800s, was a dying art form. Tastes were changing, but following the opening of Japanese culture to Western influences and technology post-Commodore Perry and the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854, Japan was undergoing intense modernization. The West was influencing all parts of Japanese culture, from the dress to the art to the technology and everything in between.
Shōzaburō Watanabe was a businessman in the export business who stepped into the dying industry of woodblock print art and created what he termed “New Prints” or shin-hanga. Watanabe created his publishing house, S. Watanabe Color Print Co., and began employing highly skilled carvers and printers, and commissioned artists to design prints that combined traditional Japanese techniques with elements of contemporary Western painting, such as perspective and shadows. Utilizing his export business expertise, and operating from offices in Japan, the US and London, he created a market for Japanese art. From a thematic perspective, he and many of his artists sought to capture the nostalgia of pre-modern Japan but to depict it using the new techniques that they were learning through cross-cultural exchange and experimentation. The results are some of the most breathtaking landscapes created in the medium of woodblock printing, often with the underlying emotions of solitude, wonderment, quietness and reflection.
Friday, February 4th through February 27th.
Opening Friday, February 4th at 5pm to 8pm, Saturday February 5th from noon until 6pm.
Open Monday - Friday, 10am-2pm by appointment only.
Moonlit Sea Prints
116 Pleasant Street, Suite 226
Easthampton, MA 01027