KIA Opens Redefining the Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers

Posted: January 17, 2015
Source: Katie Houston
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KALAMAZOO MI - A new exhibition has opened at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Continuing through April 26, Redefining the Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers fills two galleries with contemporary art that reframes the conversation about printmaking.

"This exhibition pushes the boundaries of what we think of as a print," says Vicki Wright, KIA Director of Collections and Exhibitions. "You won't see any classic Japanese prints showing samurai and courtesans, or snow-topped Mount Fuji."

"What's exciting is the diversity of work by formally trained printmakers investigating new mediums including video, photography, and three-dimensional work in felt, cast resin, nd high-density foam." The artists do use the traditional printmaking techniques of etching, aquatint, monotype, screen-print, and woodcut, as they expand on the printmaking practice of producing "multiples" - versions or copies of an original. Among the results are an oversized installation of etchings on cotton and wool, and compositions of acrylic ink squeegeed onto glass.

Throughout the exhibition, says Wright, guests will notice the Japanese values of fine craftsmanship, attention to detail, and masterful use of color.

Japanese printmaking began in the eighth century for reproducing religious texts. Exact, careful, and precise, the medium reflects the structure and detailed culture of the country, which was private and isolated for most of world history. However, when the world got its first glimpse into the delicate beauty of Japanese culture, its art was admired and copied all over the world.

The artists range in age from their mid-twenties to mid-sixties, and include Junji Amano, Shunsuke Kano, Hideki Kimura, Koichi Kiyono, Saori Miyake, Shoji Miyamoto, Arata Nojima, Nobuaki Onishi, Kouseki Ono, Naruki Oshima, Chiaki Shuji, Marie Yoshiki, and Toshinao Yoshioka.

Redefining the Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers is curated by Sam Yates, director, Ewing Gallery of Art & Architecture, University of Tennessee, and Hideki Kimura, professor of art at Kyoto City University of Arts; traveling exhibition organized by the Ewing Gallery of Art & Architecture, University of Tennessee. The exhibition in Kalamazoo is sponsored by Stryker, and made possible in part by the Joy Light Fund for East Asian Art Acquisitions and Exhibitions.

Planned programs for the exhibition include docent-led tours on Sunday, January 25 at 2 pm; Thursday, February 5 at 6:30 pm; and Sunday, February 22 at 2 pm; an ARTbreak presentation of Becoming Made, The Artist and a Japanese Woodblock Print, a film by printmaker Mary Brodbeck that explores Japanese printmaking.

Skyflow Redefining Release photo