Two hundred years ago, in Edo-era Japan, an incredible style of art flourished – Ukiyo-e, Pictures of the Floating World.
Great artists created bold and intricate designs of beautiful women, landscapes, kabuki actors, animals and more. Highly skilled artisans carved those designs into wooden blocks so they could be printed thousands of times. This was popular art for the masses – for the cost of two bowls of noodles, Edo Japan’s thriving middle-class bought these woodblock prints and hung them on walls or collected them in albums. But it was not just for decoration. Woodblock prints were the multimedia of their time, used for book illustrations, celebrity portraits, advertisements and education. Together they formed an encyclopedia of the Edo period and could almsot be compared to today's Internet.
The art was revolutionary – striking flat planes of colors, dramatic perspectives, stunning graphics. Other subjects included mystical ghost scenes, great battles, even erotica – Ukiyo-e artists depicted it all. When Japan “opened up” to the West in the late 1800s, great painters like Vincent Van Gogh became obsessed with Ukiyo-e, learning from the designs and even copying them. Their influence in the West was profound.
But this art was never meant to last. Printed on delicate paper, these wonderful prints
deteriorated as the decades went by. Few were carefully preserved. Now finding one
in good condition is rare indeed. And that’s why their value is skyrocketing: just this
year, the most famous of all Ukiyo-e prints – Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave
off Kanagawa” – sold for $1,590,000 at Christie’s in New York City.
XZ Ukiyo-e is proud to introduce you to this fascinating world, and to offer this
collection of guaranteed original woodblock prints.
Lover under an unbrella in the snow, c,1766
Under the well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa, c,1831
As the director of XZ UKIYOE, I've been buying and selling Ukiyo-e -- pictures of the Floating World -- for years, and am now proud to introduce this website with a selection of my most interesting and desirable prints. As the only international Ukiyo-e dealer catering to the Chinese market, I am passionate about spreading knowledge of this wonderful art form in my home country. I'm in regular contact with top dealers, museum curators and gallery owners around the world, as well as auction houses, and am available for consultations to help build collections, as well as provide expertise on authenticity, condition, preservation and restoration.
2020.10.18 An Fine Art Museum, Beijing, Ukiyoe Lecture
2020.11.29 International Ukiyo-e Society 25th Fall Conference
2021.02.26 K11, Guangzhou, Ukiyoe Lecture
2020.10.18 北京安美术馆 浮世绘专场讲座
2020.11.29 国际浮世绘学会 第25回 秋季大会
2021.02.26 广州K11 浮世绘专场艺术沙龙
XZ UKIYOE Professional Affiliations: