This is a bit of an outlier in the ongoing postings on modern variations of woodblock prints: Those are actually backgrounds of an Anime. I’m not sure which technique they use, but it surely has the woodblock style.
The name of the show is “Katanagatari” – and while the story is stupid to borderline annoying, the beautiful art kept me at it. Simple but striking characters, and those wonderfully executed backgrounds.
If any animation fan comes across here and knows more about the artists of this show, their techniques or maybe art books, I would be curious to hear about it.
They often take their time to pan through these.
This dreamy wood is not quite consistent with the style ...
...but I love that background.
The house from above - unsurprisingly much is transformed to rubble over the run of the show.
As promised in my earlier post
, I want to continue showing modern woodblock prints. The following are made by Katsuyuki Nishijima (born 1945). He sticks to traditional themes, but adds a contemporary perspective to it. Love the little flying umbrellas.
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Rain and Fine"
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Roofs" (not official title)
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Street Corner" (not official title)
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Laundry Day"
Those rooftops remember me on towns and villages near my hometown (which is not in Japan, but Saxony, Germany).
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Ikomaya"
Katsuyuki Nishijima - "Umbrellas"
And this is what the people on the intertubes think about Japanese art. Loved this – and the comments on the page there are glorious
The recursive comments in the link are rotflsome.
I want to post some modern wood block printers from Japan – but this gotta become a series: There are just so many great ones. Hokusai and Hiroshige pictures are everywhere – but the artists of the last 100 years seem under-appreciated.
I’ll start with is Kawase Hasui (1883 – 1957). Wikipedia says that he’s one of the leading ones to revive traditional printing (where the work is shared between several craftsmen) depicting classical subjects. But what do I know – probably just something that museums made up. Anyways, it looks sweet. Love especially his night-scenes.
Kawase Hasui - Snow at Mukojima (1931)
Kawase Hasui - Kiyomizu Temple Kyoto (1933)
Kawase Hasui - Modan Viewpoint Pyongyang Korea (1940)
Kawase Hasui - Snow at Shiba Gate
Kawase Hasui - Zojoji Gate
Kawase Hasui - Ochanomizu
Kawase Hasui - Village House
On flickr you can come across lots of old Japan photos – and I find it surprising how similar they look to the artworks, especially composition-wise. Probably the photographers tried to stay close to what costumers knew – but I think also that simply the shape of the objects you can work with determine a lot of what you can do with the composition. I mean… much more so than I would have thought.
The first one here was a 3D photograph, so I made it into an animation for a nice effect.
Historical Japan Picture from the haydays of woodblock-prints (1880) - it was all 3d back then!
Photo from Old Japan - ca. 1880