Created using computer drawing programmes to manipulate digital photographs, View Of Moon Over Manatsuru Peninsula is a print from Julian Opie’s Japanese Landscapes series (2009). The print shows an image of a night-time city skyline over a body of water, the focal point of the image being the colourful reflections of the city in the water. Opie uses two graphic strips of calligraphy to contextualise the print for the viewer.
Opie takes inspiration from Utagawa Hiroshige for his Japanese Landscapes series and is indicative of the artist’s extensive knowledge of Japanese art. View Of Moon Over Manatsuru Peninsula goes against the European art historical landscape tradition that alludes to a sense of depth through the use of foreground objects. This print denies any foreground detail with the city landscape cutting the image in half horizontally, and the reflections of light in the water work to add an element of abstraction to the image.
Much of Opie’s work has been compared to the digitally rendered landscapes of video games in the way that they mimic a simultaneously familiar yet otherworldly sphere. Indeed, this print is uncanny in the sense of familiarity it strikes within the viewer, in part due to Opie’s depersonalised, slick style rendered through computer technology.