A Look into Hokusai’s The Great Wave Off Kanagawa (70694)

Session Information: Interdisciplinary Arts
Session Chair: Hoang Nam Tran

Monday, 29 May 2023 12:25
Session: Session 1
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

Often considered a quintessential piece of Japanese art, The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai helped bring Japanese art to the western mainstream. However, despite its emblematic representation of Japanese art, the techniques used to create the piece are not solely Japanese. Given that Hokusai was influenced by the European works brought in by Dutch trading ships, The Great Wave cannot be categorized as a pure Japanese work. How, then, has this piece stood the test of time as an exemplar of Japanese fine art? There are multiple avenues to be examined regarding the longevity of The Great Wave. Within the fine art world exist criticisms directly targeting eurocentric views that have allowed European works to be distinguished as fine art. This directly contrasts the label of folk art, a title oft-given to works made outside of Europe and without European techniques. It is these European techniques that may have allowed the Great Wave, and subsequently Japanese art, to be regarded as a cornerstone of fine art. The fetishization of eastern culture may have also added to the appeal that works like The Great Wave have had on a western audience. Finally, there is reason to look toward psychological principles like the mere exposure effect, and why people tend to gravitate towards objects of familiarity.

Salvador Tinajero, St. Olaf College, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Salvador Tinajero is a AmeriCorps Fellow currently stationed in Connecticut. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College, where he completed studies in psychology, Japanese culture, language as well as a concentration in neuroscience. His research fields include Japanese media, western perception of Japanese culture, and Japanese media trends.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00