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April 7, 2008
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Gateway
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Date Taken
Jan 1, 2003, 12:03:49 AM
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Hokusai tattoo by SaxMachine06 Hokusai tattoo by SaxMachine06
This tattoo is on my upper right arm. It was done by Jason Drager at Deep Roots in the U-District, Seattle, WA.

The pic was taken about 2 days after it was done.

I am Japanese even though I don't look like it, I embrace the culture, and below is some information on Hokusai, the artist that created the original block print of "The Great Wave."



The Breaking Wave Off Kanagawa. Also called The Great Wave. Woodblock print from Hokusai's series Thirty-six Views of Fuji, which are the high point of Japanese prints. The original is at the Hakone Museum in Japan.

Hokusai's most famous picture and easily Japan's most famous image is a seascape with Mt. Fuji. The waves form a frame through which we see Mt. Fuji in the distance. Hokusai loved to depict water in motion: the foam of the wave is breaking into claws which grasp for the fishermen. The large wave forms a massive yin to the yang of empty space under it. The impending crash of the wave brings tension into the painting. In the foreground, a small peaked wave forms a miniature Mt. Fuji, which is repeated hundreds of miles away in the enormous Mt. Fuji which shrinks through perspective; the wavelet is larger than the mountain. Instead of shoguns and nobility, we see tiny fishermen huddled into their sleek crafts as they slide down a seamount and dive straight into the wave to make it to the other side. The yin violence of Nature is counterbalanced by the yang relaxed confidence of expert fishermen. Oddly, though it's a sea storm, the sun is shining.

To Westerners, this woodblock seems to be the quintessential Japanese image, yet it's quite un-Japanese. Traditional Japanese would have never painted lower-class fishermen (at the time, fishermen were one of the lowest and most despised of Japanese classes); Japanese ignored nature; they would not have used perspective; they wouldn't have paid much attention to the subtle shading of the sky. We like the woodblock print because it's familiar to us. This Japanese pastoral painting originated in Western art: landscape, long-distance perspective, nature, and ordinary humans. The Giant Wave is actually a Western painting, seen through Japanese eyes.

Hokusai didn't merely use Western art. He transformed Dutch pastoral paintings by adding the Japanese style of flattening and the use of color surfaces as a element. By the the 1880's, Japanese prints were the rage in Western culture and Hokusai's prints were studied by young European artists, such as Van Gogh, in a style called Japonaiserie. Thus Western painting returned to the West.
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:iconkiktattoo:
kiktattoo Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
อืม รัก
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:iconcursednight:
CursedNight Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011
I have a really big poster of this painting!
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:iconatfirstblush:
atfirstblush Featured By Owner May 27, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
the picture of hokusai is amazing! nice tattoo :)
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:iconshoesofftomorrow:
shoesofftomorrow Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2010
love this!
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:icondarkbear30:
Darkbear30 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love that picture. Good job on that tattoo too. Xxx
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:icontattoosbynazareth:
tattoosbynazareth Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010
classic :)
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:icondeadxxonexx:
deadxxonexx Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
wow very epic!
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:icongajiin:
gajiin Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010
aw man i love that. im planning on gettingn that as a filler on one of my arms. ill counterpart it on my other arm with japanese style flames.
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:icondnaa558:
DNAA558 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009  Student General Artist
I have that on my wall!! a HUGE fabric poster!
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:iconmorgueprincess:
morgueprincess Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
i wanna have the same painting on my inner arm today but no idea how much it might cost.. it's a brilliant piece of art.
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