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22nd November, Touraku

While ubiquitous in Japan, high quality contemporary mokuhanga is rarely seen here in Australia.

Bringing together the work of five different nationalities of mokuhanga artists for the first time in Australia, this exhibition offers a rare glimpse of the range and source of contemporary mokuhanga. Mokuhanga (literally wood block print) is the traditional water based printing technique, more commonly seen in museums as Ukiyo-e. Almost identical tools, materials and techniques are used to this day in a variety of formats and approaches, to produce these beautiful works.

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Masahiko Honjo Sanctuary, 2015, Mokuhanga water based pigments on washi, 60cm x 44cm Ed. 50

Long term resident of Japan, American Richard Steiner continues the lineage of foreign residents living in Japan drawn by traditional arts and culture. His teacher, Masahiko Tokumitsu, a Hiroshima bomb survivor, while relatively unknown in the mokuhanga world, was an accomplished member of the Creative print movement and a contemporary and friend of world renowned Munakato Shiko. Steiner’s work is playful, and while this selection eschews his usual figurative works for the most part, it has a whimsical intellectual bent and bears the stamp of the creative print movement’s focus on individual artistic expression over technical excellence. In his more than fifty years residing in Japan, he has produced an extensive body of inventive work, taught hundreds of people and exhibited his work in many countries.

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Tuula Moilanen Six Dreams of Ukiyo Beauty: Speed, 2009, Mokuhanga water based pigments on kozo paper, 28cm x 42cm, Ed. 36

Konomi Honda Man’s Shirt, 2015, Mokuhanga water based pigments on washi, 40cm x 51cm, Ed 10

Terry McKenna Evening Glow on Impossible Building, 2015, Mokuhanga water based pigments on kozo paper, 23cm x 35cm, Ed. 15

Masahiko Honjo of Japan meanwhile is the product of a completely different lineage, training in the workshops of Kyoto artist Masao Ido within the team of craftsmen producing Ido’s designs as mokuhanga. Schooled in traditional skills and approaches Honjo has developed a highly coloured, calm and harmonious palette with a range of textural print effects which he combines in elegant compositions. Konomi Honda, also from Japan, is representative of a wave of younger artists training under established mokuhanga artists at Japanese universities. She is also representative of a broad range of approaches young women have taken with the traditional process, seeking a personal idiosyncratic point of view to express with this traditional medium in contemporary gallery settings.

Tuula Moilanen of Finland, also with an extensive history of living, learning, producing and exhibiting mokuhanga in Japan and abroad, gives another combination of tradition, humour, cultural depth, point of view and visual language. Fluent in Japanese both in speaking and reading / writing Moilanen’s works are loaded with references to Ukiyo-e’s cultural heritage, Japanese legends and art history. Uniquely combined with her Finnish background, her work has developed its own world and a range of anthropomorphic characters that inhabit it.

Australian Terry McKenna, the curator and organiser of the exhibition, was a student of Richard Steiner while living in Kyoto for several years, during which time he met the other artists in this show. His work combines elements of realism, irony, fantasy and emotional symbology within a largely traditional mokuhanga framework. His new Ballarat Hakkei (Eight Beautiful Views of Ballarat) in this exhibition reference traditional sets of landscape ukiyo-e in an Australian setting. His older works have been previously exhibited in Australian private and public galleries.

Five different approaches within this traditional technique give a glimpse of the possibilities, the flexibility and inherent beauty of the non-toxic process that are behind the growing world-wide traction for this time-honoured technique.

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Richard Steiner Birds Ears, 2001, Mokuhanga water based pigments on torinoko paper, 46cm x 31cm

 

 

 

East and West Gallery

9th February to 25th March, 2017

Masahiko Honjo Sanctuary, 2015, Mokuhanga water based pigments on washi, 60cm x 44cm Ed. 50

Tuula Moilanen Six Dreams of Ukiyo Beauty: Speed, 2009, Mokuhanga water based pigments on kozo paper, 28cm x 42cm, Ed. 36

Konomi Honda Man’s Shirt, 2015, Mokuhanga water based pigments on washi, 40cm x 51cm, Ed 10

Terry McKenna Evening Glow on Impossible Building, 2015, Mokuhanga water based pigments on kozo paper, 23cm x 35cm, Ed. 15

Richard Steiner Birds Ears, 2001, Mokuhanga water based pigments on torinoko paper, 46cm x 31cm

Images courtesy of the artists and East and West Gallery

Workshops Coming soon

Lessons in Karuizawa 軽井沢で木版画を学

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軽井沢で木版画を学びませんか?

日本語と英語でクラスを進行していきます。
ご自身のオリジナル木版画を創作出来ます。
軽井沢木版画教室
国際木版画家兼指導者:刀楽 (テリー マッケーナ)

Would you like to have a regular lesson to learn Mokuhanga?

Karuizawa Weekly Course April 23 to June 25, 2019

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Karuizawa Weekend Course July 6 & 7, 2019

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Melbourne Comprehensive Workshop 7th & 8th September, 2019

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Karuizawa Nengajou Workshop November 30 & December 1, 2019

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What is Mokuhanga?

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Detail of traditional print "Haru Nano Higashi Genji" by Kunichika Toyohara

 

Mokuhanga is the traditional water based printing technique, originating in China and perfected in Japan.

A print is created through design, carving blocks for each colour, then printing each colour successively until the print edition is completed.

 

Mokuhanga is the Japanese word for wood block print. The Japanese characters 木版画 are 木 wood, 版 block and 画 picture.

 

In Japan its meaning is the print itself, but in general contemporary use it means both the print and the technique. Mokuhanga is growing in popularity worldwide as learning becomes more accessible to people outside of Japan.

 
 

 

Kunisada Printmaking tripty

 

 

 

Mokuhanga is chemical free, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, uses relatively simple hand tools and equipment and requires little space to produce beautiful work. The natural beauty of the materials - wood, pigment and hand-made paper are all retained and enhance each other. A great choice for Artists or any creative person!

 

no-poisons no-press

 

 

 

Residency Availability

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Terry McKenna Mokuhanga

This is a short video showing teacher Terry McKenna making one of his mokuhanga...

You can find more about Terry's work on his dedicated website at www.egaku.com.au

Kyoto Mokuhanga Tours

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 Find out more about these exciting, small-scale and unique tours

Kyoto Mokuhanga Brochure (PDF)

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