JAPANESE PRINT MAKING TODAY: A NEW PERSPECTIVE
THE PRINCETON SENIOR RESOURCE CENTER AND THE WILLIAMS GALLERY OF PRINCETON JOIN IN AN EXHIBITION AND SALE OF THE WORK OF FOUR ARTISTS GIFTED IN THE MEDIUM OF PRINT MAKING. EACH OF THE ARTISTS HAS BEEN SELECTED FOR INCLUSION IN THE PRESTIGIOUS CWAJ SHOW AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, DC, IN MARCH OF 2007. PRINTMAKING TECHNIQUES INCLUDE WOODBLOCK, INTAGLIO, MEZZOTINT AND LITHOGRAPHY.” A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT THE SENIOR RESOURCE CENTER.
Opening Reception: Friday November 3, 2006, 4:00 -7:00 PM
© 2005 Yoshikatsu Tamekane
© 2005 Margaret Kennard Johnson
FEATURED ARTISTS include Susumu Endo, Margaret Kennard Johnson, Katsunori Hamanishi and Yoshikatsu Tamekane. Ms. Johnson is a Princeton based artist who has practiced and taught in Japan. She will give an informal talk during the reception on her own work as well as that of the three Japanese artists.
SUSUMU ENDO blends photographic and non-photographic processes via computer, mixing the reality of the natural landscape with abstraction to create a singular surrealistic image – a mingling of nature and a space continuum. Born in 1933, Endo came to printmaking by way of graphic design. He uses the computer as a tool to enhance and manipulate his already exquisite photographs and drawings, which are then produced as lithographs.
Endo explains,"The source of my creative thoughts is to form structural expressions in my mind space. There I layer several different timelines into one, or construct a world where the real and unreal coexist and interact. Though I work more on the computers these days, my fundamental attitude toward my creations has remained mostly unchanged since the non-digital age. The reason why I stick with a non-digital way of thinking is because it can interact with my body and soul much more smoothly and naturally. At the same time, I'm eager to take advantage of the latest technology and media for creation. What I'm always trying to do is to explore a new relationship with emerging media. This exploration continues to confirm the origin of my artistic expressions."
Endo graduated from the Kuwasawa Design School in 1962 and then spent 5 years in a small design studio. His art soon became recognized and after producing a calendar for Audio-Technica, his images have appeared commercially and in the collections of museums throughout Europe, the United States and Japan. His images disp a skill and beauty that challenge our sense of reality.
MARGARET KENNARD JOHNSON, a Princeton resident, was first introduced to the art of Japanese printmaking while in residence in Japan where she lived for eight and a half years. As a teacher at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Ms. Johnson handed down lessons she herself learned studying under Josef Albers years before at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. (Albers had taught at the Bauhaus in Germany). She has described her tenure in Japan as a time of re-awakening, as though she was seeing things through the eyes of a child. Ms. Johnson absorbed the Eastern aesthetic of simplicity, incorporating this knowledge into her works. Organic processes and the materials themselves, which develop into a vibrant yet subtle dialogue between paper and ink, guide Ms. Johnson's visual expressions.
Subsequently Johnson has returned to Japan periodically and has been exhibited at the CWAJ show on a regular basis. In 1980 she co-authored "Japanese Prints Today: Tradition With Innovation". In the current exhibit Ms. Johnson will show her mesh relief print "Drawing Together". This is among those to be included in the Library of Congress Exhibit in DC.
The artists says, "Materials and processes inspire and guide my work. They provide the means for forming imagery and composition. They vitalize and characterize my visual expressions, whether with handmade paper, intaglio/relief printmaking, or other mediums".
KATSUNORI HAMANISHI: Like the surrealistic paintings of Dali and Magritte, Hamanishi's mezzotints combine nature and abstraction. Born in Hokkaido, Hamanishi studied painting and graduated from Tokai University with a degree in Art in 1973 and next studied at the University of Pennsylvania on a grant from the Cultural Affairs Agency, 1987-88. He has won numerous prizes for his work, including the Ibiza International Print Biennial, the Grenchen International Triennial in Switzerland and the Valparaiso International Exhibition in Chile.
Now living in the Tokyo area, Hamanishi’s primary focus is printmaking. His works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum and the MOMA in New York; the Art Institute, Chicago; the Library of Congress, DC; Taipei Fine Arts National Museum; Krakow National Museum; Osaka National Museum of Art; and others. In September 2004 he was honored in a two-man show along with venerated mezzotint artist Yozo Hamani at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, where he presented a demonstration of his own techniques.
Hamanishi’s subjects embody traditional Japanese symbols and images combined with a contemporary interpretation. Few contemporary artist have the time and patience to rock a plate with a mezzotint rocker long enough to produce the velvety black impression so characteristic of the best work. Hamanishi explains: "It is patience that is necessary to produce the jet-black texture peculiar to mezzotint; the foundation of infinite tones from black to white. This is similar to the grounding of an oil painting before the image is applied. To prepare the copper plates may take 10 – 13 hours using a process called ‘burring". A comb-like tool is rocked methodically, vertically, horizontally and diagonally over the plate until it is completely covered with impressions made by its teeth. It is after the plate is burred that the drawing of the image into the prepared surface begins."
"I savor the past and also look forward to the future as a time of hope and advancement for the human spirit."
Yoshikatsu Tamekane is known for his technical prowess combined with a unique mystical aesthetic and vision. Tamekane is essentially a woodblock printer, but adds texture to his woodblock images using collagraphic techniques. Materials such as string, resin, and paper are applied to the block in order to add relief to the surface of the print. He also incorporates gold and silver leaf in many of his works.
Tamekane's prints are bold, iconic expressions of the concepts the artist seeks to visualize. The passage of time, travel, special relationships, and the miracle of life are all subjects of his works. His images combine landscape, geometry, evocative organic forms, and a controlled use of color and texture into eye-catching images that capture the imagination.
Born in 1959, Yoshikatsu Tamekane studied at Sokei Academy of Fine Arts in Tokyo. From 1991 to 1994 he lived in Paris while studying art at the Musee d’Orsay, the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou. He is a member of the Japan Print Association and has shown ten consecutive years in the prestigious CWAJ Print Show. In 2006 his work "A Winter Memory" became part of the permanent collection of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida.
The Princeton Senior Resource Center is a private non-profit agency providing a wide array of programs and social services to older adults in the wider Princeton area. Our mission is to offer affordable opportunities for support and engagement to older adults, their families and caregivers. Programs, services and volunteer activities are designed to empower individuals in the Princeton area to age in place with dignity.
The College Women's Association of Japan (CWAJ) sponsors annual juried shows of artists from across Japan, both famous, and emerging, representing many inventive concepts and techniques. These shows are prestigious and popular and attract many viewers and collectors within the country and from abroad. Numbers of people who have lived in Japan plan their return trips at the time of these October shows.
The CWAJ 50th Anniversary Print Show will be held at The Library of Congress, Washington DC. Opening reception March 28, 2007. Open to the public starting March 29. The work will be on exhibit approximately 3 months, and then become part of the Library’s permanent collection. The collection displays the high quality and innovation of contemporary printmaking from Japan at the beginning of the 21st century. More than 100 artists will be represented by one or more prints each.
Mary Lou Bock/Curator
The Williams Gallery of Princeton
The Princeton Senior Resource Center
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