Religious Imagery in Modern Japanese Prints

  • Exhib_slideshow_religious_prints

March 16, 2019 - May 12, 2019
Honolulu Museum of Art


Exhibition Overview

Woodblock prints depicting mandalas and other Buddhist imagery date back to the Muromachi period (1392–1573), long before the popularization of ukiyo-e prints in the 17th century. Though many ukiyo-e artists active during the Edo period (1615–1868) chose to focus upon the pursuit of worldly pleasure, Japanese printmaking in the 20th century displayed a renewed interest in spiritual salvation and religious devotion. Displayed here are works by six artists active in the Sōsaku Hanga (Creative Print) Movement. In accordance with the tenets of that movement, each of the artists produced their works independently and received no assistance with the technical aspects of print production. Such a working style allowed each artist to express his or her personal feelings about the afterlife, opportunities for spiritual redemption, and the sense of comfort one can achieve through prayer or meditation.

Made possible by the Robert F. Lange Foundation.

Watanabe Sadao (1913–1996)
Descent from the Cross, 1975
Stencil print; ink and color on prepared paper
James A. Michener Purchase Fund, 1976 (16925)