≡ Menu

The Sea Zen block print connection to Van Gogh

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.

window 600

Van Gogh, Cottage 1888

Tree trunks

Van Gogh, Tree trunks 1890

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.

Uttagawa, Gion Shrine in snow

Uttagawa, Gion Shrine in snow

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.

Dog, Kozaki Kan

Dog, Kozaki Kan

Reclining nude, Kozaki Kan

Reclining nude, Kozaki Kan

When you stay in Sea Zen, you can see these Japanese prints.

There’s more!

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.

VAn Gogh and the seazons catalogue

Van Gogh and the seasons catalogue

See our calendar for bookings.

If you liked this story, please share the link with friends.