Ballarat Hakkei - The Eight Beautiful Views of Ballarat
A Contemporary Interpretation of an Ancient Theme
The Eight views at Xiao Xiang (ca. 1070) is a historic set of landscape paintings from ancient times in China that have inspired poets and artists throughout the centuries in Japan.
One famous set of woodblock prints is Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi Province) by Hiroshige (1797 - 1858). This is the area around Lake Biwa, in the neighbouring province to Kyoto. While living in Kyoto I had aspired to create a modern version that captured both the beauty and also the strangeness and human-made destruction of our modern era. After moving to Ballarat in 2014, I began work on the series with the same idea.
Although containing some recognisable landmarks of the Ballarat area, they are all imaginary, pshycho-emotional works, dealing with the transitions between living overseas and returning to my home state after more than 30 years living elsewhere. They are stories of my adapting to a new life again and the efforts to adjust. Interestingly, you will find Mount Fuji in each print, I imagine it still can be seen long after you have left Japan.
Notes on the worksEach print is 160 x 280mm (image size) on Echizen washi, and in an edition of 15 only.
Each varies in complexity, most are in excess of 20 colours / impressions to make. The blocks are all Japanese shina, each work requiring 4 to 5 blocks carved both sides to complete.
Purchasing - You can buy individual prints, although prints numbered 1 to 8 are reserved for sale as sets.