Korin’s exquisitely beautiful Shin Bijutsu Kai or New Ocean of Art series is a wonderful example of geometric form and dynamic line (without using a brush) which helped establish Japanese “modern design” in the first decade of the 20th century.
This is an antique, hand-crafted woodblock print from the original 1902 edition of “Shin Bijutsu Kai” published by Unsodo, Kyoto.
The same print is also held in the collections of Stanford University and the Smithsonian Museum, New York.
About the Author
Born in 1875 in the village of Kaizu in Shiga Prefecture, Furuya Korin went to Kyoto as a young man in order to study Japanese and Chinese literature.
Once there, he became a student of the pioneering art director and Rinpa revivalist Kamisaka Sekka who taught him the elements of design.
At the early age of 22, Korin achieved his first breakthrough by winning the prize for painting at the second annual Exhibition of New and Old Art.
Along with Sekka he came to be recognised as one of the two most important designers of the age until his sudden death in 1910, aged only 36.
His works were hugely influential on the development of European Art Nouveau.