Exhibition: Shin hanga – The New Prints of Japan 1900-1960 (Museum of East Asian Art Cologne)

Date of event:   11/03/2022 − 06/06/2022

Title: Shin hanga: The New Prints of Japan 1900-1960
Duration: 11 March 2022 to 6 June 2022
Location: Museum of East Asian Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany

With a unique selection of over 200 Japanese colour woodblock prints from the first half of the 20th century, the exhibition shows the development of shin hanga (‘new prints’). The subjects range from female beauties and great actors of the kabuki theatre to atmospheric landscapes and impressive depictions of birds to scenes from modern urban life.

The 20th century is relatively overlooked period in Japanese printmaking. Since the 1990s, however, museums and private collectors have shown a growing interest in shin hanga (new prints). These beautiful designs are the fruit of the traditional yet highly successful collaboration between artist, publisher, block cutter and printer.

The driving force behind the commercial development of the shin hanga movement was the charismatic publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō (1885–1962). Under his influence many prints with an exclusive character and modern design were created.

Works by all the major shin hanga artists will be represented, depictions of “beautiful women” by the artists Hashiguchi Goyō, Torii Kotondo and Itō Shinsui or the impressive landscapes by the famous Kawase Hasui. It is not so much in their subject matter as through their visual language that shin hanga prints set themselves apart from their traditional precursors.

For more information, please visit the website here.

Image: Crows in Moonlight, Ohara Koson (Shōson) (1877–1945), woodblock print, 26 × 39 cm, Japan, Shōwa period, 1927.