Ukiyo-e and Modern Art

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The Ukiyo-e are images of the floating world that has the names of the prints and paintings primarily which give an explanation for the transition of the licensed pleasure to that of the Edo and present day in Tokyo Japan. Initially, the ukiyo was a Buddhist phrase that used to express the transience of the human life. Between the years 1615-1868 (commonly known as the Edo period), ukiyo got here to refer the hedonistic and sensual pleasures of people that embraced them for their changing characteristics. During the sixteenth and 17th centuries, ukiyo-e started as hand-painted monitors and scrolls of everyday life. Most paintings in this case regularly resembled popular entertainment and recreations like avenue dancing, festivals, and cherry blossom viewing. In this artworks, beautiful women were the ones engaged in the leisure pursuits.

In the Ancient days, painters were always tasked to do religious paintings with seasonal scenes and courtly handscrolls. In contrast to that, the new ukiyo-e painting which was introduced had a significant influence on the chonin which was a social class of craftsmen and merchants. In order to meet the demand of their artworks, ukiyo-e started producing mass paintings by using curved wooden blocks due to its affordability. One portrait that emerged was the woodblock printing in Japan during the 18th century. By the time the eleventh century reached this type of artwork was already made the primary method of distribution. The single sheet prints, in this case, were mass produced because they were consumed by the commoner, shopkeepers, pennies and street vendors. Mostly this artwork was used to print the Buddhist text through black and white illustrations by hand. However, in 1765, colors were later introduced as technology improved.

The influence of the ukiyo-e can be seen through the effects of the Japonais artists such as Takashi Murakami who have used interdisciplinary means to explore contemporary art. Murakami established his theory of Superflat using the Japanese aesthetics while actively incorporating the ukiyo-e prints from the past. Its influence is also evident in the otaku subculture whereby post-modern Japanese youth were significantly influenced by anime and manga. Although one can consider ukiyo-e as a traditional art form, it has maintained its relevance through its techniques being passed down to future artisans who have the capability to portray the world that is around them.

Photorealism is a modern art which looks as realistic as a photograph. It is a type of art that an artist takes a picture and uses it as a reference in developing a representation of the image that is hyper-realistic and makes it look almost identical to the photograph. This type of art gets its influence from pop art and is the opposite of abstract expressionism. Unlike other paintings, photorealism can only be done by an artist who has technical ability that is advanced in order to be able to capture the realism of the photograph onto the canvas. To gather information a photo-realist employs the use of a camera and photo after which he or she uses a mechanical or semi-mechanical method to put the data onto the canvas. In order for the finished work to look photographic, they must have technical ability. For an artist to be considered as photo-realist, they must have exhibited the art by 1972 so as to be acknowledged as the central photo-realists. Additionally, the artist must have sacrificed at least five years towards the development and exhibition towards photo-realist work.   

Bibliography

Brown, Kendall H. “Hokusai and His Age: Ukiyo-e Painting, Printmaking and Book Illustration in Late Edo Japan (review).” The Journal of Japanese Studies 33, no. 2 (2012): 521-25. doi:10.1353/jjs.2007.0048.

Flueckiger, Barbara. “Photorealism, Nostalgia and Style.” Special Effects, 2015, 78-96. doi: 10.1007/978-1-84457-904-4_6.

Komatsu, Kuri. “Murakami, Takashi, (born 1 Feb. 1962), artist.” Whos Who, 2010. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.45834.

Hardacre, Helen. “Edo-Period Shrine Life and Shrine Pilgrimage.” Shinto, 2017, 263-98. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190621711.003.0010.

Seidlitz, Woldemar Von, and Dora Amsden. Ukiyo-e. Parkstone Press Ltd, 2007.

Smith, Colin. “Photorealism making.” New Masters of Photoshop, 2011, 176-211. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4302-5121-7_7.

Yonemoto, Marcia. “Written Texts–Visual Texts: Woodblock-Printed Media in Early Modern Japan (review).” Monumenta Nipponica 61, no. 1 (2006): 107-12. doi:10.1353/mni.2006.0011.

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