Van Gogh, Hiroshige’s Cherry Blossoms, and the Impermanence of Life

Reading time: 20 minutes “If we study Japanese art, we see a man who is undoubtedly wise, philosophic, and intelligent who spends his time doing what?,” wondered 35-year-old Vincent van Gogh in a September 1888 letter to his brother, Theo. Admiring the intrinsic wisdom of the Japanese artist who is unanchored from the dispassionate, reasoning…

Tetsuya Ishida – Recalled (1998)

His art captured what it meant coming of age in a highly industrial society, which was more concerned with its economic gains than with its own humanity. Tetsuya Ishida’s surreal paintings depict the dehumanization of the Japanese people, turned into machines, smothered and constricted by the high expectations imposed upon them by a rigid culture….

Tadashi Nakayama – Horses in the Afternoon (1961)

Successfully managing to blend Western European influences with traditional Asian art, Tadashi Nakayama (1927 – 2014) was a Japanese artist known for his masterful use of the traditional technique of woodblock printing on hand-made hosho paper. This centuries-old Japanese technique is incredibly labor intensive and time consuming, requiring the use of one block for each…