Hasui Kawase

I was reading through a tech-art presentation given by Gjoel Svendsen over at Playdead studios, on all the clever things they did to make deceptively simple art for their game Inside.


A fascinating read, but I noticed Gjoel gave a shout out to Kawase Hasui, a Japanese wood block print artist active in the first half of the twentieth century.

I’ve always liked Japanese woodblock prints but never differentiated the different artists. (I know, shame on me) But when I looked up Kawase’s work, I realised most of the Japanese woodblock prints iv’e seen over the years that I’ve liked were his. I also noticed there didn’t appear to be a single online resource where you could see high rez scans of his prints that didn’t suffer from fading, colour casts, compression artifacts etc.

So I took a few hours and hunted down the best high rez sources of his prints, and went through and colour corrected and cleaned up the scans, and put them together in a proof-sheet.

Super inspiring images. He gets so much space/depth with so few colours and shapes. There is a wonderful sense of time of day, and active tranquillity in these images. Really helpful reference for someone like me who’s looking to get the most artistically from a mobile game.

If Kawase can make big open lush spaces come across with wood, then surely I can do it on a smartphone…


One comment
  1. fantastic.


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