Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Today I went to the Kuniyoshi exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts with some of my friends from my MA course. We'd seen a poster advertising the exhibition last week and it looked very interesting.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) was a Japanese artist, who created thousands of colour woodblock prints. While he was working in a very different medium than I am, I was struck (as were my friends) by the similarities his work had with my own. His work demonstrated a great economy of line and was possessed of a real sense of energy, which are two aspects I have been working to incorporate into my own drawing.

Kuniyoshi also demonstated a great deal of humour within his work, especially in a series of images featuring various animals acting out very human activities, which my friends said made them think of my illustration for the alphabet we produced as part of a group project for the MA. I was interested by a line in the catalogue for the exhibition which said "Kuniyoshi has no other ambition than to make viewers laugh", as earlier this week, I was writing an Artist's Statement in preperation for our forthcoming Degree Show and said "I want to create images that make people smile".

Inspired by the days events (which also included continuing the Japanese theme and having lunch at a Japanese restaurant), I created my own illustration inspired by one of Kuniyoshi's prints, Hatsuhana Prays Under a Waterfall, c.1842.


  1. hahaa... right! the artist should have no secrets from his public!!!

  2. That is very funny - I nearly spat out my tea!

  3. Oh no! I didn't intend to incite any tea-spillage!!!

  4. Hahaha! I really really like it Paul!
    Maybe you should pray something under the shower as this woman is praying her husband's health.... :-)

  5. I'm praying my hair doesn't go all frizzy when I get out...