Kawase Hasui and Japan art: Evening and nightfall
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) produced countless stunning landscapes. His art belongs to the world of Shin-Hanga (New Prints). Therefore, his art developed amazingly throughout the Taisho and Showa periods of history.
He became inspired by the four seasons and the consequences of the weather. Hasui’s winter scenes stand out – along with his delightful art connected to the late evening to nightfall period. Hence, Hasui utilizes rain, snow, the sun, the moon, and natural phenomena in his art.
The Virginia Art Museum says, “Born in Tokyo, Kawase Hasui was a master of Japanese landscape prints. He began his journey as an illustrator for books and magazines but soon discovered his heart belonged to printmaking. In 1918, he began creating Shin-hanga (new prints) and designed more than 600 prints during the following 40 years.”
Hasui kept alive the spirit of the Edo Period and the early Meiji Era. He did this by enjoining new artistic concepts and color schemes concerning Shin-Hanga.
In the art piece above, one can imagine the individual feeling the bliss of tranquility. However, the coldness and difficult walking conditions add to elements of discomfort. Yet the escapism of silence – and the delightful wintery scene – override all negatives in the stillness of the night.
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