Making waves—digital production brings Hokusai's works to life

A scene from the Life of Hokusai courtesy organisers

Hokusai fans are in for a treat. Devotees of the celebrated 18th-century Japanese artist can watch a new digital extravaganza (until 30 August) covering his life and works in spectacular fashion. The production The Life of Hokusai, available to watch online via The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, takes you on a non-verbal journey that depicts the “anguished inner life” of Katsushika Hokusai through dance, Japanese traditional instruments and original artwork projections, says a colourful description. “His paintings were eccentric and delicate, influencing artists worldwide. But actually, he accomplished those feats by going through a number of great difficulties and moving forward,” the organisers say. Hokusai’s famous works act as a backdrop to this lavish biopic enacted by a number of performers including the artist Katsumi Sakakura and the actress Manase Haruka. Katsumi Sakakura says that the piece should be a balm in the wake of the pandemic. “I hope this [piece] reminds people worldwide to find what really matters in life, which we tend to lose sight of in this chaotic world.” The production was initially due to be performed live but Covid-19 got in the way; tickets for the digital experience cost £5.