The Floating World theme refers to Ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world") woodblock prints. This art is closely connected to the urban pleasures of Metropolitan Edo (Tokyo) and animated by the traditional Japanese love of nature. Japan has long held the interest of artists from California. Everything from Zen Buddhism to Japanese gardens and cuisine has been integrated into the local culture. Once in Japan, Raphael was immediately struck by the contrast between the traditional Japan and the contemporary electronic Japanese culture. This clash between the old and the new creates striking contrasts and interesting juxtapositions. In his brief stay, Raphael visited Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. This body of work reflects the images that caught his eye.

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All artwork ©Victor Raphael