Centuries-old Japanese ukiyo-e have received a delightful update, transformed into animated scenes that sometimes include surprising, modern imagery. Japanese video artist and animator Segawa Atsuki remixed a number of these popular woodblock prints and paintings, drawing mostly from Katsushika Hokusai’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series and creating GIFs that turn the static images into mini narratives.
Some of the GIFs imagine what traditional ukiyo-e scenes would look like if invaded by today’s technology: Atsuki’s version of Hokusai’s “Yoshida at Tokaido” has women in a tea house marveling at one of Japan’s high-speed bullet trains; at another tea house on a wintery morning, a woman shoots a laser beam at an airplane, causing it to explode and tumble into the ocean below — where a wave emerges to swallow it. The subject of Hokusai’s “Great Wave off Kanagawa,” arguably the most famous ukiyo-e of all, finally makes good on its threat, crashing back into the water while causing a long fishing boat to roll along the waves like a roller coaster car.
“Ukiyo-e woodcuts, especially those by Hokusai Katsushika, have a clear line, so it is easy to make them into animations,” Atsuki told Hyperallergic. “I tried to animate realistic Western paintings, but I failed because the lines of those realistic paintings aren’t clear.”
The project is just one of the many creative ways people have revisited these familiar works; others include designers who set video games in the traditional Japanese scenes. Atsuki’s ongoing intervention, though simpler, doesn’t fail to mesmerize. Watch the historic scenes loop over and over again, below.
What feels like the right way to write about Roman Catholicism, or Christian iconography, to most art critics is heavily influenced by museum discourse, which is far from neutral.
A group exhibition at the Americas Society investigates ideas of paradise, approaching the Caribbean region as a product of the visitor economy regime.
The unique MFASA at the Institute of American Indian Arts offers mentorships with world-renowned Indigenous artists, flexible schedules, and access to one of the US’s cultural capitals.
Visual artists who incorporate psychedelics into their practices maintain a foundational understanding that there is more to reality than meets the eye.
Many in the local Ukrainian community want the museum’s name to be changed to reflect the many artworks in its collection by artists from former Soviet states.
Lisa Ericson renders her real-world subjects beautifully, but the situations in which we find them are uncanny, menacing, and unexpected.
Contemporary society in the United States normalizes the idea of the exhausted mother, so why wouldn’t mother nature be equally exhausted?
Field of Vision’s latest free streaming offering focuses on a vulnerable population put at risk, told through the stories of those inside.
Tsai’s style is the opposite of boring; in demanding the viewer’s attention, he allows for incredible moments of human connection and discovery.
Over 4,000 artists have signed on to the event, with a nifty online directory listing paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and much more.