Japanese block prints are an unlikely connection between Sea Zen and the bombshell 2017 Van Gogh exhibition in Melbourne.
Many thousands of Melbournians have been blown away by the colour and vibrancy of Van Gogh’s paintings. The last 3 years of his life was an explosion of creativity. He painted one masterpiece a day, each a frenetic outpouring of colour and emotion.
His work resonated so strongly with Melbournians it became the fastest selling exhibition in the NGV’s history, with opening extended to 12 July 2017 for 15 hours a day!
We discovered that Japanese prints are a strong common theme between Van Gogh’s art and our design ethic at Sea Zen.
Van Gogh’s Japanese prints
While the pathway to Van Gogh’s genius is troubled and complex, there were several critical steps along the way. One was his discovery of the Impressionists’ bold use of colour to represent the light of outdoors which lead to his frenetic pace of work and his sweeping splashes of colour, often applied directly from the paint tube.
Another step several years earlier was his collection of 500 Japanese prints, some of which are displayed in the Melbourne exhibition.
Why were these prints important?
He studied the power of their simple motifs in conveying a message without distraction and this transferred later to his art. His key ideas are celebrated with colour and passion, freed from the distracting noise of reality.
Here is a print from his collection. It strips out clutter for a few simple ideas, so Japanese, so Van Gogh.
The Sea Zen woodblock link
As we designed Sea Zen, we were careful to keep the elements simple and uncluttered. The few decorations are Japanese block prints. In our case, they are mainly modern limited edition prints by Kozaki Kan from Kyoto, fresh but timeless in their simplicity of Japanese design ethic.
Here are some in Sea Zen.
When you stay in Sea Zen, you can see these Japanese prints.
We also have a few more prints in our house that we will swap into Sea Zen over time.
Catalogue in Sea Zen
We encourage you to see the Van Gogh exhibition.
We have also included the Van Gogh catalogue in Sea Zen as a tribute to the modern painter with genius for simplicity and colour. If you saw the exhibition, it will be a reminder. If you missed it, you can experience a flavour of his work when you come and stay again at Sea Zen.
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