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Hokusai: Art Beyond Boundaries

Event - Sainsbury Institute - Shoe Factory, St Marys Plain, Norwich NR3 3AF

Wednesday 17 July, 2024 - Thursday 25 July, 2024

Exhibition open 10:00-16:00 daily and is free to visit.

An exhibition by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in partnership with the Hokusai-kan Museum, Obuse.

This exhibition marks the first time high-resolution reproductions of Hokusai’s works, housed at the Hokusai-kan Museum in Nagano, Japan, will be displayed in the UK. Using these master replicas, this exhibition brings together a number of works from the extensive collection of Hokusai-kan, including Hokusai-painted works of a dragon, a phoenix, and a pair of waves, which were painted on the ceilings of two festival carts, as well as the impressive masterpiece from the ceiling of  Ganshoin temple. The nature of these works mean they cannot move location, yet innovations in reproduction technology have allowed these artworks to now travel across the globe to be displayed and enjoyed here in Norwich. 

The Hokusai Museum is located in the town of Obuse, Nagano prefecture, which the renowned ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) visited in his final years. The museum holds around 800 works by Hokusai, most of which are hand-painted and which he produced in his 80s, in both Edo and Obuse. The museum was built in 1976 with the intention of preserving for the future the works bequeathed to Obuse, and has worked since then to protect these valuable works, whilst also conducting research rooted in the local community. As the museum approaches its 50th anniversary, it aims to expand its research activities outside of Japan – this exhibition, in partnership with the Sainsbury Institute of Japanese Arts and Cultures, represents a first step on this journey, as we showcase master replicas of works in the museum’s collection here in the UK. These displays explore the groundbreaking techniques employed by Hokusai in his later years that made him one of the world’s most recognised artists.

Accompanied by a series of talks and events, this exhibition is part of the anniversary program celebrating 25 years of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

This exhibition is generously supported by Yoshino Gypsum Art Foundation and Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.

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