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October Virtual General Meeting and an Artist’s Look into Japanese Printmaking

Date: October 14, 2020 Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am 
Venue: Virtual Meeting
Topic: Creativity and Innovation in Japanese Printmaking
Speaker: Katsutoshi Yuasa
Sign-up: RSVP by noon on 12 October 2020

Woodblock printmaking was one of the major forms of information media during the Edo period. Newspapers, books, toys, posters, advertising – everything was made by woodblock print. However, after the Meiji Restoration, many new technologies were imported from abroad. Technologies imported from abroad such as etching, lithography and photography were highly valued, so the value of traditional woodblock printmaking declined.
When traditional woodblock printmaking was left behind, some artists revolutionized their work. The painting artist, Kanae Yamamoto launched a creative print movement which is self-drawn, self-carved and self-printed by the artist himself whereas traditional woodblock printmaking was a collaborative process. A very unique artist, Shiko Munakata won the Grand Prize of the Venice Biennale in 1956. Everyone was surprised by this news because Munakata’s style was thought to be outdated. But since he won the prize, the Japanese evaluation of woodblock prints has changed. They were able to recognize that it is a unique expression in Japan that can be appealing overseas.
Yuasa-sensei also held many exhibitions, workshops and artist-in-residences in different countries. Currently, woodblock printmaking is attracting many people as an environmentally friendly and non-toxic technique. In the lecture, he will talk about the history of Japanese printmaking innovation and the possibilities for a new era.

Print Show Committee

Speaker Profile

Katsutoshi Yuasa was born in Tokyo in 1978. He graduated from Musashino Art University, Tokyo in 2002 and received his MA in Fine Art Printmaking from Royal College of Art, London in 2005. Since then, Yuasa has participated in famous artist-in-residences such as Rijksakadmie van beeldende kunsten (Amsterdam), Cite des arts (Paris) and Kala Art Institute (Berkeley). His work has been exhibited worldwide in galleries and museums. Recent solo exhibitions include Lawrence Art Center (U.S.A.), Galerie der Stadt Backnang (Germany) and Gallery YUKI-SIS (Tokyo). Recent group shows include Foerde Museum (Norway), C-mine cultuurcentrum (Belgium), Nagoya City Museum of Art and Yokohama Museum of Art (Japan) amongst others.

Yuasa’s work is in numerous public collections including Cleveland Museum of Art, China Printmaking Museum, Laing Art Museum, New York Public Library, and Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, he was awarded the grand prize of both the Northern Print Biennale and Towry Print Prize in the U.K.

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