Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence @ Seattle Art Museum

Landscapes, fairytales, and demons 👹

Published October 19, 2023

A mini-Lego recreation of the Great Wave
OCT 19 –
JAN 21

📅 October 19, 2023 – January 21, 2024
Wednesdays – Sundays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
📍 Seattle Art Museum: 1300 First Ave, Seattle
🎟️ Free – $32.99

Opens Thursday, October 19th
If we had a penny for every time we’ve seen the Great Wave on rolled posters poking out of store bins, unfurling on book covers, in countless anime, video games, T-shirts, and other paraphernalia — heck, it’s even got its own emoji — we’d have… well, a ton of pennies.

The point is, the Great Wave is iconic, and chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve laid your eyes upon it. It’s become synonymous with ukiyo-e, which literally translates to “pictures of the floating world,” an art style that rose in popularity during the Edo period in Japan. What is perhaps slightly less well known, however, is its creator, Katsushika Hokusai. On October 19th more than 100 of his woodblock prints, paintings, and illustrated books — along with more than 200 works by his teachers, students, rivals, and admirers — will be coming to Seattle Art Museum for its new exhibit, Hokusai: Inspirations and Influences, letting museum-goers delve into Hokusai’s impact on art through the centuries and around the world.



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Some other highlights of the exhibit include:

🌊 A large-scale LEGO recreation of the Great Wave by certified master builder Jumpei Mitsui
🌊 A chance to create your own “digital” woodblock print
🌊 Tables to handle woodblocks and woodcarving tools and learn how the works were made
🌊 An anime, manga, and art catalogue reading nook
🌊 A curator audio tour of the exhibit, available via smartdevice
🌊 A free music playlist inspired by Hokusai

Seattle is this exhibit’s only West Coast stop on its national tour and the first time nearly all of these works have been seen outside of Boston or Japan. It’s sure to be a feast for the eyes. Tickets are available in person or online, but we’d recommend grabbing them in advance on SAM’s site for a discount!

📸: Courtesy Seattle Art Museum | Photo by Chloe Collyer

Experience a museum that is as much a part of Seattle's landscape and personality as the rain, coffee, and mountains. With three dynamic locations, Seattle Art Museum has been the center for visual arts in the Pacific Northwest since 1933.