In Praise of Flower Hunting
Woodcut on paper
A masterwork by a representative print artist of Japan. Flower hunting is to win the heart not by shooting with a bow and arrow but with beautiful flowers.
일본을 대표하는 판화가의 명작. 화수라는 활과 화살이 아닌 아름다운 꽃으로 마음을 잡는다는 것.
There is a ritual in the Ainu fire festival in which inau (ritual wood-shaving sticks) are shot in all directions. With this ritual as the theme, Munakata produced this work by referring to a cave painting in the Goguryeo tomb in Tonggu, China. Instead of hunting birds and animals with bows and arrows or guns, the idea is to win their hearts by shooting flowers.
This was submitted to The Tenth Nitten (Japan Fine Arts Exhibition) in 1954, the year the U.S.A. carried out a thermonuclear test in Bikini Atoll and Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a Japanese boat, was exposed to radiation. Movements to ban atomic and hydrogen bombs livened up more than ever before. As an artist in pursuit of beauty, perhaps Munakata wanted to express a world without weapons in this work.