Sunday, June 11, 2006

6-degrees of Hokusai

I found this folder at Kinokuniya bookstore some time back. It must have been hidden behind a couple of other designs, i couldn't miss it, no way. I remembered the distinctive image, something i haven't seen for a long time. I even vaguely remembered it in arts appreciation classes(something i always loved), it was the woodblock print art of "the Great Wave" by Japanese artist Hokusai.

And so i did a little more digging to refresh my memories of this unique artwork. During the Shogun period where Japan was cut off from the Western world, Hokusai discovered and learnt about the European artistic elements, including realism and landscape perspective. These 2 qualities in effect, make the "great wave" artwork, although created by a Japanese, very much "non-Japanese".
Read here for some nice background info
The famous artwork showing a huge breaking wave, fishermen and Mt Fuji in the background.
A much earlier work, showing the intricate breaking wave flowing in the wind and turning into sea gulls.

This was when i remembered yet another modern work of art, uprisings by Kozyndan

The prolific duo re-created the masterpiece of a tides of bunnies! Simply awesome work if you ask me.

This admiration of Hokusai's historic work is further interpreted by Levi's US senior VP Caroline Calvin during the "Love & Peace 501" campaign: 35 pairs of 501's painstakingly bleached and treated to achieve this masterful image.

Jaw-droppingly good, like i'd say.

Now i'm on a roll. All my aimless surfing round the web might not have been useless after all...
I also remembered Surface 2 Air's work on belts, pic via Josh, who redifined the notion of truly limited edition. You might just be 1 out of the few that have the key pieces that make up the artwork, each 1 is one of a kind.

And where do i go from here? Well, thanks to cool Fred over in France, my 6 degrees of separation is complete!
French skateboard label Mekanism brings out yet another set of limited edition decks, this time by Katharina Grosse. She is famous for her very lovely abstract and expressive paintings. Check her out in action, and the final outcome:

one word: sweet

Now, there should be more than enuff links from the above links to occupy your time. Hopefully you will enjoy clicking on them as i have :)

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