CULTURE & ARTS

Traditional Japanese Art Finds New Life On The Internet, Thanks To GIFs

Further proof that there's nothing quite like an art historical meme to make you appreciate the beauty of traditional art.

Most casual art fans are familiar with Katsushika Hokusai's iconic work, "The Great Wave at Kanagawa."

Part of a series of 36 views of Mount Fuji completed between 1831 and 1833, the polychrome ink on paper creation features a tower of waves violently collapsing onto a few small boats. The famous mountain appears like a tiny pyramid in the background, punctuated by the intricate lines of sea foam that somehow seem both tranquil and unrelenting.

Except, of course, the waves in Hokusai's famous artwork aren't actually moving, and those boats aren't actually fading into the seascape. Or are they?

Thanks to a Twitter user by the name of Segawa Thirty-Seven, or @s07741657, we can now imagine "The Great Wave" in all its dynamic glory.

Through a collection of altered GIFs, the artist is bringing traditional Japanese art -- specifically, Hokusai's ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the 19th century -- into the new millennium. With the help of a little animated magic, his views of Mount Fuji become surreal moving images, made all the more bizarre by the addition of a few spaceships, high-speed trains and lasers.

Need more proof that there's nothing quite like an art historical meme to make you appreciate the beauty of traditional art? Behold:

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