January 08, 2008

Hokusai and Siebold at the Tokyo-Edo Museum

Sunday I went to Ryogoku to see a Hokusai exhibition, which featured works that are in collections in Holland and France. Most of the works are from Hokusai and his school of artists, featuring scenes from daily life in the Edo period as well as some spectacular landscapes. There are about ten or so works by Phillip von Siebold, a German physician who lived in Dejima, off Nagasaki in the 1820s. As well as documenting the flora and fauna of Japan, he also did some drawings that drew heavily from Hokusai's style.

Though it was an interesting exhibition, it was, like any major exhibition in Japan, an exhausting experience since the place was so packed. You walk at a snail's pace in a line with very little personal space to enjoy the work on display, which is hardly ideal. Better on a weekday I guess.

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