Mokuhanga History, Philosophy & Society. The Mokuhanga Technique at the Service of Visual Narration: a sample of a set of ten prints Shiika Shashinkyo” (A True Mirror of Chinese and Japanese Poems) by Katsushika Hokusai Saturday, September 30 from 2:30pm – 3:00pm
Elettra Gorni was born in Suzzara, near Mantua, Italy, in 1967. After a degree in History of Modern Art at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, she worked as a cartoonist. In 2005, she began a new artistic journey: she graduated from Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Sculpture and started practicing mokuhanga as a source of artistic inspiration, study and research. She is currently living, working and studying in Milan. As an artist, researcher and teacher inspired by old Japanese books and prints, Gorni’s artistic practice is intended to suggest intriguing surrealism using simple shapes, a monochrome palette with only a few colors and the void. Her preferred medium is mokuhanga, since this printing process allows her to build simple, meditative, flat images with a strong power of evocation, though she works also in painting, sculpture, ceramics and drawing. Abstract My intention is to show that the mokuhanga technique provided Hokusai with specific resources (e.g. the bokashi gradation) to be narratively effective. The technical and expressive support coming from mokuhanga, mixed with iconographic motifs typical of the traditional eastern spatial representation (for example the presence of water, mountains, sky, clouds and mistiness), contributes to the building of a visual and narrative syntax specific to Japanese woodblock prints.
Semih Çinar was born in Karabük and in 2013 graduated from Karabük University Fine Arts Faculty. He continued with his master’s at Hacettepe University; 2016 Graphic Art Biennial Of Szeklerland 2016 (Transilvania Art Center /Romania); 2016 Osten Biennial Of Drawing Skopje 2016 (National Gallery Of Macedonia); 2016 Sava Ve Bari II / War and Peace II (Ça da Santalar Merkez, Ankara). Abstract In the 18th and 19th centuries, as a result of the emergence of the industrial revolution, the social structure changed along with the modernization. The emergence of the digital age therein has accelerated this change and enabled different forms of expression and techniques to emerge in art. In this presentation, I attempt to convey the reasons and the importance of preserving the traditions as well as the updating of the art of woodblock printing, which is one of the traditional branches of art.
Born in Izmit, Turkey in 1989, Fatih Gok entered the Department of Painting, Bodrum Faculty of Fine Arts, Mugla University in 2007 and graduated there in 2011. He began to study for a master’s degree at the Department of Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Hacettepe University in the Spring Semester of 2015. His international exhibitions include International Print Biennale Yerevan, Yerevan, Armenia, 2017; 3. Osten Biennial Of Drawing Skopje, Gallery Osten, Macedonia, 2016; International Biennial Print Exhibit: 2016 ROC, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan, 2016; International Istanbul Printmaking Activities, International Istanbul Engravings Exhibition, Yüksel Sabanc Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey, 2016; and International Student Exlibris Competition, St. Petersburg + Moscow, Russia, 2011. Abstract The images of modern times are made up especially of the images that come into our life after the industrial revolution. Life forms and shapes that do not exist in human life before this date enter into human life. In this case, the communication of the person with these new life forms needs to be taken in a new context. This presentation aims to explore my works as studies of these new forms of life together with the art of woodcut, one of the earliest methods of the art of printing. At the same time, the relationship of the woodcut technique with technically realistic expression is of special importance. It is also necessary to examine the technical point of view to these sample works, which are revealed by thinking about the technical possibilities of woodcut. Pushing borders in contemporary print art is very important in terms of the diversity and development of techniques. If it is intended to transfer the images realistically, printing techniques pose a variety of challenges because they are an “indirect” method in a sense. Again by example works, I aim to examine the subjective relationship between woodcut art and realistic expression. This examination will focus on the technical possibilities of woodcut art especially in Turkey
April Vollmer is a New York artist and writer with an M.F.A. from Hunter College, whose work focuses on mokuhanga. Her woodcut prints have been exhibited internationally; she has taught many workshops across the U.S. and is an instructor at the Lower East Side Printshop. She was on the board of the First and Second Mokuhanga Conferences in Japan, and is Communications Attaché for the Third. Her book Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop was released by Watson-Guptill in 2015.
Japanese Woodcut Goes International: the Evolution and Influence of an Independent Japanese Mokuhanga Training Program
Introducing the Floating World to the International Artist Community
Nagasawa Art Park; Mi-Lab Residency Program; International Mokuhanga Conferences
Over the last two decades there has been a growing interest in Japanese woodblock, mokuhanga, outside Japan because it is water-based and does not require the use of a press. The Nagasawa Art Park residency program and its successor Mi-Lab (Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory) have been of special importance in promoting an understanding of mokuhanga as a creative practice outside Japan. These programs focused on short-term residencies to train mid-career artists from a variety of locations who might promote the technique in their home countries. Because many of the participants were or later became teachers the influence of the program has been greatly magnified over time. These programs have expanded to include a research residency at Mi-Lab, professional development classes for Japanese artists and short classes in mokuhanga at the Tokyo office, which also includes a gallery space. In addition to the residency program, the associated International Mokuhanga Conference, held every three years, has provided a significant meeting place for alumni, educators, printmakers and others interested in the materials, history and technique of mokuhanga.
The timing of these Japanese programs coincided with a new appreciation for this nineteenth century technique reflecting a transformation in the way printmaking is done today. A new environmental awareness, increased concerns about safety, and an emphasis on flexibility and mixing media, along with a broader cultural overview, are elements that make Japanese woodblock especially relevant in contemporary printmaking studios. These characteristics have made mokuhanga a significant bridge in promoting the growth of residencies and participation in conferences and exchanges for Japanese as well as international artists. The programs initiated by Keiko Kadota have made this connection clear and have connected many artists across cultures.
Local Practice. The Adoption of Mokuhanga in Schools and Communities: A research in progress about the teaching process of non-toxic techniques of xylography in Chile Saturday, September 30 from 11:00am – 11:30am Conference Center | Pacific Room
Teacher of Visual Arts and Master’s in Education, studied in Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación in Santiago de Chile. Woodcut printmaker. Her studio is located in San José de Maipo, Santiago de Chile. She was awarded a scholarship in Japan by JICA, and developed her master’s thesis about Cultural Learning, based on “Gunma ‘50”. Abstract The most important thing for society is to transmit information and generate learning. Artists should give part of their time for society to get closer to art. Artists should be primarily supporting schools. At the learning space for mokuhanga in Santiago de Chile, Mtr. Paola Beatriz González Farías is involved in research about the teaching process of non-toxic techniques of xylography in Chile. Research has been developed through interviews with school and studio teachers. Most of the xylography classes conducted at universities in Chile are made based on printing methods where toxic solvents are used. In the case of schools in Chile, water-based techniques are not used because they are not known and few woodcut ateliers use non-toxic techniques. This study considers five schools represented by its teacher, three of the most important xylography studios of the capital zone (Región Metropolitana de Santiago) and three university xylography courses, concentrating on how non-toxic techniques are taught. In one case, we show an educational experience around primary children learning the mokuhanga technique at school and use print results for a game that reinforces cultural understanding, based on a Japanese educational policy and a master’s thesis in Chile.
In addition to creating the website www.xilografia.cl, we are also organizing The First Scholar woodcut competition in Santiago’s Metropolitan Region for this year with the plan to offer classes in non-toxic woodcut in schools in the region before the deadline. The purpose of the site is to promote woodcut knowledge, specially focused on school teachers. We are preparing class modules to support regular visual arts classes at schools according to the ministerial plans.