Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hokusai Surimono

#surimono #ukiyo-e #hokusai

Surimono is a kind of ... well art print with limited editions often given as new year gifts or created as mementos of special occasions.

Here's a selection of some by Hokusai

The lines of calligraphy are poems.

I have a special fondness for this one due to its depiction of the tools used for painting and calligraphy, an inkstone for grinding inksticks, one of which is shown resting on one edge of the inkstone, a water pot with a flower placed in it not just for painting but perhaps water for the ink too, and the brush pot in the background shows us Asian style brushes. The long slender rod in the foreground is probably for keeping sheets of paper flat and aligned.

A simple yet elegant image of a snake surrounding two gourds or melons showing once again Hokusai's gift for interesting compositions and eye for the details of nature.

This is part of a larger sheet that would have been folded into a pamphlet.
Note how Hokusai takes the horizontal format of a scroll and uses a prolonged S curve layout to show all the objects and lead our eye to the text.

Coming soon. 
The Year of  the Monkey 
so Monkeys and Apes as a theme!