‘The Great Wave’ Crashes Into Melbourne

By Carmarlena Murdaca

‘The Great Wave’ Crashes Into Melbourne
For the first time since their creation over 180 years ago in Edo-period Japan, two prints of Hokusai's most iconic work, The great wave, will arrive at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria.

The exhibition itself features the NGV’s own print of The great wave, which came into the collection in 1909, and a second complementary print from the major lender, The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum.

The prints are the centrepiece of the exhibition Hokusai, which features over 170 works and opens this Friday 21 July.

One of the most comprehensive exhibitions of the artist ever staged outside of Japan, Hokusai has been produced by the NGV in collaboration with the Japan Ukiyo-Museum Matsumoto (which houses the world’s oldest collection of Japanese woodblock prints).

Hokusai is the first major presentation in Australia of one of Japan’s most influential, prolific and everlastingly popular artists, Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849).  An influential master of Japanese manga and a self-proclaimed ‘drawing maniac’, Hokusai produced a body of work comprising some of the most recognisable and reproduced images in the history of Asian art, most notably The great wave.



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