Sunday, December 17, 2006

between the earthquake and the war

arthur wesley dow created this work several decades before hasui kawase created his, but perhaps both were responding to the onrush of modernity, gatekeepers, both of them, of an imagined past.

or perhaps both just reporting on what they saw. like the impressionist painters, hasui didn't create his images in a studio, but rather on his constants travels in search of beautiful vistas. still preferring a kimono, he wandered the countryside, staying at inns and hunting for "live" views.

by the time he done this image of shichiri beach in soshu, kawase had already lost everything once: in a 1923 earthquake that killed 140,000 people, and that had destroyed everything in watanabe's publishing house (along with the work of many other shin hanga artists as well.)

everything was lost again in the bombing of tokyo in WWII. as they had once before, hasui kawase and watanabe shozaburo rebuilt again.

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