Shin-hanga 新版画, Kawase Hasui and Yoshida Hiroshi
Shin-hanga (新版画, new prints) was a Japanese art movement that arose in the early 20th century. It emerged from ukiyo-e art and evolved it a step further bringing new ingredients as for example the use of isometric perspectives. The creative process of shin-hanga artists was the same as the one ukiyo-e artists used. In order to create a work of art it was necessary to draw, carve and print. The shin-hanga prints became very popular among art collectors in United States.
Kawase Hasui and Yoshida Hiroshi were the two most important artists of the shin-hanga movement. My favorite of the two is Kawase Hasui, who not only made prints of the most popular places in Japan, but he also liked to represent scenes of daily life in the streets of Tokyo, as if he was taking photos. By seeing his prints we can have an idea of how Japan was one hundred years ago.
Yoshida Hiroshi had a somewhat different style, more influenced by impressionism from the West. He introduced in his works of art light techniques not seen until then in Japanese paintings. He used a more varied color scheme and played with warm and cool colors depending on the situation. He traveled a lot outside of Japan, mostly around United States and Europe. It’s interesting to see his paintings of places around the world such as the Taj Mahal.
During Second World War United States froze the imports of Japanese prints thus bringing the shin-hanga artistic movement to its end.