Eye of Hokusai

Please be advised that near the middle of the following programme there is a sequence on Hokusai’s erotic work with some obfuscation of the more ‘sensitive’ parts of the works.

 

“The Great Wave” PBS documentary…

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Transcendent Art – Hokusai

I re-watched a BBC documentary about Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai last night, via the iPlayer app, and was struck by the power that his art (particularly the painting) possesses to send me into something of a transcendental state. I gasped aloud when this particular painting appeared:

hokusai_ducks_british_museum
Painting of ducks by Katsushika Hokusai copyright the British Museum.

Despite my love of visual art, particularly painting, illustration and Japanese woodcut printing, it has always been music and narrative that has ‘moved’ me to tears or joy. I’m not going to try to fathom out why I feel the way I do when I see these works as, for me, this would spoil the experience but, by cracky (as the late, great John Noakes would have said) there is something here that addresses what it is to be human and to experience existence in this world.

Doesn’t Hokusai capture the very essence of duck in the main figure? It is almost alive.