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Shin hanga

13.10.22 15.01.23

Estampe femme au réveil

Shin hanga - The new prints of Japan (1900-1960)

The Shin hanga exhibition featured no less than 220 Japanese prints from two private collections in the Netherlands, as well as sketches, studies and prints from the collection of the grandson of the publisher Watanabe. Next to these works, the visitors found a selection of Shin hanga prints from the collection of the Art & History Museum.

The Shin hanga (literally « new prints ») art movement was a revival of traditional printmaking (ukiyo‑e) in the early 20th century. The publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō (1885-1962), noting the decline in xylographic production due to competition from new imported techniques such as photography and lithography, was the movement's greatest promoter. He gathered around him artists whose drawings were printed using traditional woodblock printing techniques.

While retaining classic themes such as landscapes, beautiful women (bijin), kabuki actors and flowers-and-birds, Shin hanga prints also reflect a modernizing Japan and seduce with a new aesthetic and an extremely high production quality. Artists: Kawase Hasui, Itō Shinsui, Ohara Koson, Kasamatsu Shirō, Komura Settai, …

This exhibition was a logical follow-up to the major Ukiyo-e exhibition held at the Museum in 2016‑2017. It took up the history of traditional printmaking in Japan where the 2016 exhibition ended. For the exhibition, the museum cooperated with guest curator Chris Uhlenbeck. 

- Slow looking -
The exhibition came with a visitor guide giving more information about the prints on display. In addition, we've carefully selected ten prints where we invited you to slow down and look a little longer. Take your time, pause and enjoy. 

- Search, look, think, do -
We offered an active discovery trail for families with children aged 8 and over: look at the details in the booklet and find the matching prints in the exhibition. Read on to find out more about the Japanese prints and how they were made. Search, look, think, do, and of course: have fun!

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Morning Hair

The mosquito net in the background tells us that the woman is still waking up after a hot summer night. Asanegami, or “morning hair” is a poetic word used in tales and verses since at least the eighth century. It evokes the image of a woman lying in her bed and thinking of her lover. The prints published by Ikeda were of the highest quality. To guarantee his customers that his prints were truly from a limited edition, Ikeda ordered his carvers to damage the keyblock after the 100th impression. His clientele would receive a monochrome print of the gouged block as proof. It is said that the...

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Japanese print
Morning Hair, Torii Kotondo, 1931

Mount Fuji Seen from Lake Shōji

Japanese print Mount Fuji Seen from Lake Shōji

Charles William Bartlett, Mount Fuji Seen from Lake Shōji, 1916 © S. Watanabe Color Print Co.

Woman Holding a Black Cat

Japanese print Woman Holding a Black Cat

Friedrich (Fritz) Capelari, Woman Holding a Black Cat, 1915 © S. Watanabe Color Print Co.

Woman Combing her Hair

Japanese print Woman Combing her Hair

Hashiguchi Goyō, Woman Combing her Hair, March 1920 © Private collection, the Netherlands

Egret in Rain

Japanese print Egret in Rain

Ohara Koson (Shōson), Egret in Rain, 1928, © RMAH

Crows in Moonlight

Japanese print Crows in Moonlight

Ohara Koson (Shōson), Crows in Moonlight, 1927, © S. Watanabe Color Print Co.

Kataoka Nizaemon XI

Japanese print Kabuki

Natori Shunsen, Kataoka Nizaemon XI dans le rôle de Honzō à l’acte IX [de la pièce Kanadehon Chūshingura], 1926, © Collection Scholten

Spring Night, Ginza

Japanese print Spring Night, Ginza

Kasamatsu Shirō, Spring Night, Ginza, april 1934, © RMAH

Entrance fees
€ 16: adults (19-64 years)
€ 12:65 +, card Fed+, Attractions et Tourisme, Riebedebie
€ 6: Students with valid student card; People with disabilities and escort; Job seekers and integration income beneficiaries; Belgian school teachers; guides of the City of Brussels
Free: 0-18 years; visitor on presentation of a museumPASSmusées; journalists on presentation of a valid press pass
€ 35: Catalogue of the exhibition on sale in the museumshop

Opening hours
Tu - Fr : 9.30 am - 5 pm
Sa - Su : 10 am - 5 pm
Closed on Mondays, 1/1, 1/11, 25/12 and 1/1

With the support of