Posted on August 19 2020
Over the centuries, Japanese Art has developed differently from Western Art, bringing contrasting elements and techniques. It covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture, ink painting and calligraphy on silk and paper, ukiyo-e paintings and woodblock prints, ceramics and origami. It has a long and rich history!
However, at the beginning of the last century, Japanese Art started to get closer to Western taste, when Shin-hanga ("new print") came up. It is considered a revival of the ukiyo-e tradition, which flourished from the 17th through the 19th centuries. But it's prints were geared towards Western tastes and the export market. Like many countries, Japan was going through a period of industrialization, and the Western was closer than ever.
Life was changing back then in Japan
Both styles are very interesting for home decor, with subjects such as female beauties, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, travel scenes, landscapes, flora and fauna.
Here you have some characteristics, similarities and differences between Ukiyo-e and Shin-hanga - and of course a selection of posters to inspire you to add some Japanese art to your home sweet home.
1. Printed or painted Ukiyo-e works emerged in the late 17th century and were popular with the merchant class, who had become wealthy enough to afford to decorate their homes with them.
Red Sumo Soldier, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, one of the masters of the style
The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai is one of the symbols of Ukiyo-e
There was work for a lot of artists
Right: Geisha in the snow storm by Hasui Kawase, from the Shin-hanga movement, has more effects of light.
Here at Kuriosis we are great admirers of Japanese Art and are always researching and looking for new motifs to offer to our beloved clients. Especially this week we are releasing a lot of new prints. If you like Japanese Art, don't miss our extensive collection of Ukiyo-e and Shin-hanga posters here.