The British Museum in London will hold a major exhibition, Hokusai beyond the Great Wave from 25th May 2017. The exhibition will focus on Hokusai’s work from the time he turned 60, which he marked by taking a new artistic name, Iitsu, thereby suggesting that his artistic practice was being reborn. It is from this time, we believe, that Hokusai’s art achieves its full expression, synthesizing the Chinese, Japanese and western styles he had mastered during his earlier career and using this mastery to explore the myriad phenomena of worlds both seen and unseen.
The exhibition will begin with the Great Wave, now perhaps the most reproduced icon in the world, then trace the evolution of Hokusai’s work in painting and drawing, woodblock prints and illustrated books, until the extraordinary paintings produced in the very last years of his life.
The symposium will explore three key aspects of the late work and life of Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). What was Hokusai saying in his art? How did he use different media to convey his vision to the world? And who was he working and communicating with? Leading scholars will provide brief provocations, followed by responses from a small panel, before throwing open the debate to the audience. Symposium sessions will be punctuated by public lectures.