These images take as their starting point Hokusai’s classic “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.” Seisai uses lithograph printing, offset printing, hand painting, and gold leaf applied by hand in his prints, drawing upon Hokusai’s motifs as well as those of other Japanese and Western artists. Further inspiring this series was Seisai’s recent translation of a book on Mount Fuji in literature. This text piqued his interest in juxtaposing an idealized historical view of Mount Fuji and Japanese culture, with the reality of contemporary society.

Edo-era Japan nurtured a formidable consumer society, but it was also one based on an impressive model of sustainability. By contrast, modern consumer society cares too little for sustainability and recklessly abuses the earth’s resources. Seisai composes images of social critique that pose questions related to art history as well as to the possibility of satire in contemporary society.

Seisai’s prints also incorporate ideas of asobi (play) – a notion important to traditional Japanese art. This series has already received wide recognition, and is being exhibited across Japan, in Paris, and in New York.

Seisai was born in Ireland and has lived in Japan for more than 20 years. He is founder of the Japan Institute, which promotes Japanese culture, is a visiting professor at Kyorin University and teaches at Tokyo University.