Hato Zu 2 16×20


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Hat? zu, meaning "wave" in Japanese, was created by Uehara Konen in 1910, in the midst of the Meiji Period, a moment of great change for Japanese culture and art. For the first time in centuries, Japan had opened its borders; American and European artists set sail to study the great masters of the woodblock tradition. Waves as a subject in Japanese art, especially woodblocks, can be traced as far back as the 1600's and the beginning of the Edo period. Yet in Hat? zu we see the emergence of a modern style and new western influences, despite Uehara Konen's resistance to many of the changes around him. The bright, saturated blues have an impressionistic styling, but also we see technology's subtly taking hold in the almost photographic composition that elegantly breaks from tradition.