Visiting Hokusai beyond the Great Wave

What a man and what a show!

Last week we made our way down to the British Museum to see the works of Japan's Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), one of the world's most popular artists.

After meeting employees from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we all made our way through the exhibition: Hokusai beyond the Great Wave, which showed his work from the last 30 years of his life.

We saw woodblock prints and paintings of flowers and animals, mythical beings and ghosts and landscapes and people. We got to see the 36 Views of Mount Fuji, including The Great Wave (pictured). This man was non-stop!

 The Great Wave off Kanagawa. 1829-1832

The Great Wave off Kanagawa. 1829-1832

We learnt that Hokusai went through some tough times: he struggled to make enough money, he was hit by lightening and after having a stroke, had to teach himself to paint again!

He also gave himself at least 30 different names: At 39 he became Hokusai (meaning ‘north studio’), at 61 he used the name Litsu (meaning ‘fresh beginning’) and his last name was Gakyo Rojin (meaning ‘old man crazy to paint’).

Hokusai lived until his 90th year and just like Matisse, he created some of his best art in his old age. He believed that his art got better each year and wanted to live to 100 so that he could reach his full potential as an artist.

What an inspiration!

Thank you to Bank of America Merrill Lynch for providing tickets, arranging entry to this sell out show and organising a great team of volunteers, who kindly provided support to the artists around this exhibition.

 Shruti, Hisba, Pelin and Toyin outside the British Museum

Shruti, Hisba, Pelin and Toyin outside the British Museum