Mad About his Art

An amazing exhibit is currently on display at the Guimet Museum of Asian Arts in Paris. It is the first retrospective dedicated to Katsuhika Hokusai (1760 – 1849), indisputably among the most famous and talented Japanese painters, and a specialist in Ukiyo-e. This is what Hokusai wrote in the postscript to One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji: « Since the age of 6 years old, I have had a passion for drawing the shapes of objects. By about 50, I had published innumerable drawings, but I am dissatisfied with everythingI produced before the age of 70. It’s now, at 73 years, that I have just about understood the form and true nature of birds, fish, plants, etc. So, by the time I am 80, I will have made much progress, I will reach the bottom of things; and by 100, I will decidedly have attained a higher state, indefinable, and by the age of 110 everything – whether it be a line, or a dot – will be living. I ask those who will be alive with me then to see if I keep my word. Written at the age of 75, by me, formerly Hokusai, now Gakyo Rojin, the old man crazy about drawing.» Check out the website of the exhibit here.