Shin Hanga

About

Shin-hanga (“new prints”) refers to an early 20th century Japanese artistic movement that revived the traditional ukiyo-e style of printmaking that was dominant between the 17th and 19th centuries. The practitioners of Shin-hanga retained many of the favorite subjects and traditional compositions of ukiyo-e, including landscapes, kabuki actors, and beautiful women, but also responded to Impressionist painting and photography with their increased attention to light, mood, and optical perspective. Artists such as Kawase Hasui, Yoshida Hiroshi, and Takahashi Shotei utilized a graceful line and graphic sensibility in their landscapes that recall the artistic achievements of the preceding centuries, while their treatment of light, space, and broad color palette lends photographic clarity. The return to traditional subjects and workshop production methods—both rejected by the contemporaneous Sōsaku-hanga (“creative prints”) movement—was partly an attempt to counter the rapid changes to Japanese culture that followed the opening of Japan to the West in 1868.

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