waves16

It’s almost guaranteed to adorn the walls of every study abroad student in Japan, plus the living room of your worldly, “enlightened” friend that minored in East Asian studies.

Of course, we’re talking about “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” – legendary ukiyo-e woodblock painter Hokusai’s most renowned work that depicts a fearsome-looking wave battering old-timey fishing boats off the coast of Kanagawa, Japan.

With its claw-like foam signaling impending doom for the fisherman and other artistic flourishes, one would think that the wave depicted is strictly artistic license, but one French photographer has captured strikingly similar-looking waves in real life.

waves9

Pierre Carreau apparently loves photographing waves so much that he actually moved his whole family to the Caribbean islands so that he could take pictures of waves for a living, despite having a business degree and experience in the IT world – where we’re sure his mother would prefer he had stayed.

Carreau has been taking high-speed photographs of waves for around a decade now for a long-running project and we’ll be damned if they aren’t surreally reminiscent of woodblock paints from Hokusai in color and pattern:

waves8

waves14

waves9

waves13

waves7

waves12

waves10

waves11

waves6

waves1

waves5

waves4

waves3

waves2

If you want to check out more of Carreau’s work, the photographer’s website and Facebook page can be found here and here. On the other hand, if these amazing pictures have you in the mood for a dip in the ocean, you’ve unfortunately still got about a four-month wait for good beach weather (unless you happen to live in the Caribbean too).

Source: Karapaia
Photos: Carreau and Hokusai via Karapaia