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Hokusai: Old Man Crazy to Paint

Biography of the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), most famous for his print The Great Wave. It focuses on Hokusai's work, life and times in Edo, now modern Tokyo.

The first UK film biography of the world-renowned Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), whose print The Great Wave is as globally famous as Leonardo's Mona Lisa. With Andy Serkis reading the voice of Hokusai, the film features artists David Hockney and Maggi Hambling, and passionate scholars who study, admire and venerate this great Japanese master.

The film focuses on Hokusai's work, life and times in the great, bustling metropolis of Edo, now modern Tokyo. Using extraordinary close-ups and pioneering 8K Ultra HD video technology, Hokusai's prints and paintings are examined by world experts. In the process they reveal new interpretations of famous works and convey the full extent of Hokusai's extraordinary achievement as a great world artist.

Hokusai spent his life studying and celebrating our common humanity as well as deeply exploring the natural and spiritual worlds, using the famous volcano Mount Fuji as a protective presence and potential source of immortality. He knew much personal tragedy, was struck by lightning and lived for years in poverty, but never gave up his constant striving for perfection in his art. Hokusai influenced Monet, Van Gogh and other Impressionists, is the father of manga, and has his own Great Wave emoji.

1 hour

Last on

Thu 31 Jan 2019 01:00

Credits

Role Contributor
Production Company British Museum
Production Company NHK Japan

Broadcasts

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BBC Four's Japan season

BBC Four's Japan season

Three weeks of programmes on the art and culture of Japan.