Kawase Hasui Press Preview

By Yinsana Mok

From November 15, 2014 to March 29, 2015, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) will have an exhibition presenting Asian artworks from a great artist Kawase Hasui. Hasui is considered the best-known landscape artist of the 20th century, and the second best selling landscape artist of all time. The exhibition features three hand painted screens never before exhibited.

Water and Shadow is the largest, most comprehensive exhibition of Kawase Hasui’s art held in America. It is also a special event: it offers both Hasui’s most compelling prints as well as works never shown before in public. Besides the three hand painted screens, Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints will also present more than 100 Japanese woodblock prints, paintings, and didactic materials that explore the dynamic early work of Hasui.

The exhibition is taken from the VMFA collection, the largest Hasui collection of any U.S. museum. The exhibition spans Hasui’s most imaginative period, the years from 1918 to the Great Earthquake of 1923. It shows the dynamic interplay between his prints, his graphic design, and his rare, but spectacular painting. It demonstrates why Hasui is perhaps the greatest landscape artist of the 20th century, and why American and Japanese audiences have embraced his art for nearly a century.

A video, adapted from a 1956 film with English narration, will accompany the exhibit, displaying Hasui sketching and demonstrating the production of his prints. Relevant prints by seminal Japanese landscape masters Hiroshige and Kiyochika, as well as works by Hasui’s contemporaries Takahashi Hiroaki and Ito Shinsui, will be included in the exhibition.

In addition, from March 18-21, Christie’s will present a series of nine auctions of Asian Art. The series of nine auctions will bring together superb examples of Asian Art from China, Japan, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia. If you are interested in these exhibitions, don’t miss your chance and go enjoy it!

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