Exhibitions & activities  

Adventurous Artists: Depicting Japan and the World
Friday through Sunday in May 2017, 12:00 - 16:00 hrs

West studies East and East studies West. For our 2017 exhibition we delve into the beginnings of 20th century Japanese printmaking. In the 19th century many western artists were infatuated with anything Japanese, and with Japan opening its doors to the world and new modes of travel, a journey to this intriguing country became a possibility. While many notable western painters used the imagery and composition of Japanese prints as an inspiration, a few set their hearts on learning the elaborate process of woodblock printmaking. Among the early 20th century pioneers who voyaged to the Orient and immersed themselves in the world of Japanese prints were Fritz Capelari (AU), Emil Orlik (CZ), Pieter Irwin Brown (NL, also known as Peter van Oordt) Charles Bartlett (GB), Cyrus Baldridge (US), and Elizabeth Keith (GB).  Fritz Capelari supplied the first designs for what became known as shin hanga (new prints), spearheaded by publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō. Others designed prints for him based on their Japanese inspired subject matter as well as sketches from their travels across Asia. Emil Orlik was known to have directly influenced artists such as Yamamoto Kanae, who was part of a new generation of Japanese printmakers who dedicated themselves to self-producing prints, titling it the sōsaku hanga (creative prints) movement. In turn, numerous artists belonging to this sōsaku hanga tradition, such as Nagase Yoshirō, Asahi Masahide and Ono Tadashige, ventured to Europe and were not only influenced by western style printmaking and imagery, but also extensively explored Asia to find new scenes to be translated into prints.

All of these artists, western and Japanese, became part of an intricate and fluid network of early 20th century printmaking, which even extended to contemporary western artists making their own Japanese style woodblock prints without ever adventuring to Japan.

Like for our previous Yoshitoshi exhibition we have again made an illustrated exhibition guide (in English) which will lead you along the prints with detailed information. It will be available for purchase at the museum for € 5,00.

I hope to welcome you to Adventurous Artists: Depicting Japan and the World this spring.

Elise Wessels
Director Nihon no hanga

Opening weekends

The exhibition can be visited during our open weekends in May, we will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00-16:00 hrs.
For a visit during these days you do not need to make a reservation, except for the guided tour (see below). Visitors are asked to ring our doorbell to be admitted to the museum.

Guided tours (in Dutch)

Due to increased administrative and personnel costs we are forced to charge a small fee for the guided tour of € 7,50 per ticket, this includes the illustrated exhibition guide (worth € 5,00).

Guided tours (in Dutch) will be given by the Junior Curator on Fridays in May at 12.30 and 14:00 hrs. Tickets are now for sale via our Eventbrite page.
Participation of the guided tour is only possible upon presentation of the Eventbrite ticket.

 Book announcement

With great pleasure Nihon no hanga presents the following publication:

Waves of renewal: modern Japanese prints, 1900 to 1960
Selections from the Nihon no Hanga collection, Amsterdam

Chris Uhlenbeck, Amy Reigle Newland and Maureen de Vries

Waves of renewal traces the history of Japanese printmaking following an era of decline beginning in the late nineteenth century. The early twentieth century witnessed the emergence of two principal printmaking movements. The first—shin hanga (new print)—reinvented and revitalised the conventional genres of landscape, beauties and actors. Shin hanga adhered to a traditional production method that was based on the cooperation between artist, block-cutter, printer and publisher. At the same time, it strove to forge a new visual language in both style and technique. The second—sōsaku hanga (creative print)—was inspired by the dialogue between Western and Japanese art and aesthetics. In the main, sōsaku hanga adherents advocated the participation of the artist in the entire creative process from design to production.

Waves of renewal is the most comprehensive publication to date to focus on the holdings of the Nihon no hanga collection in Amsterdam. The 277 prints included showcase the sophistication of shin hanga and the boldness of sōsaku hanga. An introductory essay sets the stage, followed by ten shorter essays by noted scholars in the field that centre on aspects integral to our understanding of early to mid-twentieth century Japanese printmaking. Each print is documented and annotated in the extensive catalogue section.
This book coincided with the very successful exhibition 'Modern Japanese prints: 1910-1960' held at the Baur Foundation - Museum of Far Eastern Art in Geneva, Switzerland from 3 March - 22 May 2016.

Chris Uhlenbeck; Amy Reigle Newland; Shōichirō Watanabe; Setsuko Abe; Kendall H. Brown; Mikiko Hirayama; Junko Nishiyama; Chiaki Ajioka; Noriko Kuwahara; Kiyoko Sawatari; Maureen de Vries

Publication Date: March 2016
Format: Hardback
Pages, Illustr.: 320 pp.; ca. 380 color illus.
Imprint: Hotei Publishing
Language: English

This book is available for sale in the museum during the open weekends in November for the reduced price of Euro 55 (RRP Euro 65), or can be bought through Brill.

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