Seasons Greetings

Hasui Kawase, (1883 – 1957), was one of the most prominent print designers in the shin-hanga movement of the early 1900s during the Taishō and Shōwa periods. Shin-hanga, meaning “new woodcut (block) prints”) was a renaissance of the traditional ukiyo-e art movement of the Edo and Meiji periods, (17th–19th century). Maintaining the traditional collaborative ukiyo-e system,  artist, carver, printer, and publisher all worked together on a single project. Heavily influenced by European Impressionism, Shin-hanga artists also incorporated Western elements such as the effects of light and shadow and the expression of individual moods, but continued to focus on the strictly traditional ukiyo-e themes of landscapes, famous places, beautiful women, kabuki actors, birds-and-flowers and folklore and maintained traditional Japanese aesthetics of of delicacy, poise and restraint.

Born the son of a silk-braid merchant, Hasui began his artistic career studying Japanese-style painting with Kiyokata, a leading master,  as well as Western-style at the Hakubakai a collective of artists. Hasui Kawase travelled extensively throughout the western regions of Japan near the turn of the 20th century during a period of significant economical and social transformation of the country. He is known for his poetic renderings of snow, rain, moonlight, elegant prints of Kyoto temples covered in snow, and dark, quiet landscapes.In 1956, the Japanese government designated Zojo Temple in Snow and the documentation of its production as Intangible Cultural Treasures, the greatest artistic honor in postwar Japan. 

In the midst of the modernization and westernization of Japan, Hasui and others of his contemporaries perhaps accentuated a more romanticized view of their native land as they longed for a simpler time. In the same vein, at this time of year when we take a few days to rest and reflect, and to appreciate family and all the simpler things that can be obscured by modern life . . . all the best wishes for the joy and serenity of the holiday season to you and yours from Art De Tama!

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Japanese artist in the United States. Tamao Nakayama was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to the U.S. when she was 25 years old. She is still deeply influenced by the Japanese aesthetic, and the belief that ‘less is more’. She is a minimalist abstract artist. She paints and sculpts.