Preview: Shin Hanga at the Art and History Museum

Shin Hanga is an exhibition that’s recently opened at the Art and History Museum in Brussels.

Focusing on modern prints of Japan from the period 1900-1960, the exhibition features 220 prints from two private collections. The works from the private collections are contemplated by Shin Hanga prints from the museum’s collection, as well as a number of works from the Watanabe collection.

The Shin Hanga movement – Shin Hanga translates as ‘new print’ – originated at the beginning of the 20th century as a revival of traditional printmaking techniques.

One of the key figures in the development of this movement was the publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō, who promoted the work of Shin Hanga artists. Prominent artists included Kawase Hasui, Itō Shinsui, Ohara Koson, Kasamatsu Shirō, and Komura Settai.

As well as depicting traditional motifs of Japanese culture – landscapes, kabuki actors, flowers, and birds, Shin Hanga prints also captured elements of the modernisation of Japan.

Find out more about Shin Hanga at the Art and History Museum – the exhibition runs until 15 January