Hokusai is the first major presentation in
Australia of one of Japan’s most influential, prolific and everlastingly
popular artists, Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849). An influential master of
Japanese manga and a self-proclaimed ‘drawing maniac’, Hokusai produced a
body of work comprising some of the most recognisable and reproduced images
in the history of Asian art, most notably ‘The great wave’.
Spanning the artist’s entire career, Hokusai includes
more than 170 works by the artist, comprising woodblock prints, rare
paintings on silk never-before-seen in Australia and hand-printed manga
Produced in a landmark international collaboration between the NGV and
the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum (JUM), which houses the world’s largest and oldest
collection of traditional Japanese woodblock prints, the exhibition includes
the complete sets of Hokusai’s five career-defining series – all produced by
the artist during his seventies and rarely on display in their totality –
including Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, 1830–34, which features
his iconic work The great wave off Kanagawa, c. 1830.
The exhibition also features all fifteen editions of The Hokusai Manga,
the artist’s irreverent homage to Japanese humorous illustrations, which had
an indelible impact on the development of contemporary manga in Japan and
positioned Hokusai as a pioneer of the popular form.