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Hokusai Heaven

February 20, 2017
Sumida Hokusai Museum

When it comes to making waves, no one does it better than Hokusai, Japan’s most famous artist. Precious prints by the C.18th ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai finally get a gleaming home of their own in this staggering silver spaceship.

 

Launched in November, the metal-clad, four-storey contemporary gallery was designed by acclaimed architect Kazuyo Sejima, the female half of Japanese duo SANAA, with an angled shape and reflective surface. Inside apertures and walkways maintain the geometric theme, while ushering light into the pale-floored interiors. It was inspired by Hokusai’s own interest in angles and perspective, and the contrast between the manmade and natural.

 

The Tokyo location is no accident either, a brilliant beacon in the ward where the 1760-born artist spent most of his 90 years. Many of Hokusai’s best known works capture Sumida, from its bridges to its shrines, and the museum aims to showcase that relationship with the region.

 

See the Great Wave Off Kanagawa and other iconic woodblock works, with a permanent exhibition devoted to Hokusai’s life plus changing exhibitions exploring his influences and the Edo period. There’s also a model of Hokusai’s studio, so you can imagine what made the creator of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji tick. As well as hosting talks and workshops, the gallery has a gift shop and library. Even the logo is based on a lightning bolt in a Hokusai painting. Kapow!

Sumida Hokusai Museum / 2-7-2 Kamezawa / Sumida-ku / +81 3 5777 8600 / 9.30am-5.30pm Tue-Sun / hokusai-museum.jp

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