For three weeks, The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane will be transformed into old Tokyo as it hosts an immersive exhibition at which visitors will be transported back to the eighteenth century, when the Japanese capital was known as Edo. Three-dimensional streets – including an over-18s red-light district – will recreate the ambience of the period, but these won’t be the only recreations. Molecular biologist Dr Shin-Ichi Fukuoka’s ‘Re-Create’ concept – which uses digital mastering and UV printing technology to reimagine revered artworks as they might have been when first created (as distinct from replicating or imitating them) – will be showcased outside Japan for the first time with a display based on ‘Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji’, the renowned series by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).
Fukuoka has digitally restored the 36 images – which show aspects of Mount Fuji in different seasons – so they can be projected around the exhibition on a larger scale than the original woodblock prints and with the vibrancy they would have had when Hokusai first made them.
In the restricted over-18s area, traditional chochins (lanterns) will light visitors’ way through Edo’s illicit backstreets and illuminate Hokusai’s shunga (erotic art), leading finally to ‘Dreams of the Fisherman’s Wife’, Hokusai’s famous 1814 painting of tentacle erotica. ‘Hokusai Exposed’ isn’t just a step back in time, it’s another world. Danielle Goldstein