Hanga: Japanese Modern Prints

A vast collection of over sixty modern Japanese prints created after 1950 are being exhibited at the Queensland Art Gallery.


The showcase features artworks by many prominent Japanese hanga artists of the 20th Century.

Embracing both film and the hanga prints themselves, the gallery offers an educational experience that takes the viewer through the 1950s and onwards in Japanese print history.

The exhibition brings the spectator across the transition to modern Japanese art, where the cultural heritage of traditional techniques has been innovated to form new methods and technologies to create print artwork.


The designs are intense and dynamic, and focus on the notion of art as a physical object.

While some pieces are classic in nature, others are bold in style, such as the work of Tadanori Yokoo, who was widely regarded as Japan’s Andy Warhol throughout the 60s and had created poster designs for musicians such as the Beatles.

Cartooned references to 60s Japanese artwork plays in the medium of a film at the entrance to the gallery.

While printmaking in Japan continues in innovation and modern production, the exhibition demonstrates the respect and understanding of the hanga artists for the old and traditional.

The Queensland Art Gallery showcases Japanese hanga in a passionate and delightful display that reiterates its creative importance in the Western world, while expressing Japan’s leadership in the printmaking industry.

Words by Melanie Baker

Details: Gallery 6 at The Queensland Art Gallery, Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct, South Bank QLD 4101 | 07 3840 7303 | 16 August 2014 to 26 April 2015 | Open daily from 10:00am until 5:00pm | Free entry

Feature: OKUYAMA, Gihachiro
Japan (1907–1981)
Four figures beating drums (unknown) Woodblock print on paper
Gift of Emeritus Professor Joyce Ackroyd, OBE 1990
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Japan b.1906
The Boddhisattva Kannon 1978 Woodcut on laid Oriental paper
Gift of Professor Joyce Ackroyd 1980 Collection: Queensland Art Gallery


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