I started 2017 with a visit to Japan. I met old friends, made new friends, visited the studio of artist Ichiro Kikuta in Okinawa and helped out a papermaker in Mino.
My makura byoubu and lantern were part of the Paper New Year exhibition at Gallery Yoshida. During the exhibition I assisted visitors in making 'hashi oki', chopstick rests made from paper. You can view the photos below.
Please come back later this month to read my report about my visit to the studio of Ichiro Kikuta.
Feel welcome to visit the picturesque city Mino and hop inside Studio Yoshida to view colourful works made from Mino paper. My byoubu 'Fall no. 2' will be on display which I've made during my Artist in Residence in Mino in 2013.
Dates: 16 Sat. ~ 18 Mon. July 10:00 – 16:00
Place: Studio Yoshida (next to former Imai House Museum)
Workshop: Free (Original Wind Bell Making)
The 26th Groninger Talkshow 'Stand van Stad' took place during the 'Nacht van Kunst & Wetenschap' on the 4th of June. Host and presentator Bram Douwes welcomed the following guests: Susan Smid & Mark van Vugt, André Kuipers & Kaat Bollen, Raoul Heertje & Simone van Saarloos, Patrick van Veen & Rob Zijlstra. I made the design on the windows of the Groninger Forum Library.
(material: chalk marker)
Thank you for reading my blog. If you're in Japan, please visit the 'Washi no noren' exhibition. My paper curtain 'Blue-and-white flycatcher' together with many other beautiful noren (traditional Japanese curtain) will be on display at the Yoshida Studio in Mino. The dates are April 30 and May 15-16 2016. Enjoy Spring in Japan!
If you're in the Netherlands you can view my linocut 'Konbini no. 1' at Galerie Iroha in Dordrecht.
My "Blue-and-white flycatcher" washi noren hangs in the beautiful historical center of Mino city. This exhibition is a celebration of the traditional Mino washi papermaking technique being listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
In 2013 I went to Mino for an Artist in Residence, where I stayed with a lovely family. In 1997 this Mino Artist in Residence project started, and this year all invited artists have designed a unique washi noren.
Photo's by Takaaki Otsuka
This year, while following the workshop handmade paper making in Mino, I made a lantern for the Mino Washi Akari Art Festival. You can view my lantern 'Mirai' in the photo below: the box-shaped lantern.
During the Mino Washi Akari Art Festival, visitors could also view all paper lanterns made by past participants of the Mino Artist in Residence. I made the green-and-white rectangle lantern 'Outside' in 2013 as part of the Mino Paper Art Village (Artist in Residence) project. You can view that lantern here.
My latest work 'Blue-and-white flycatcher' is a 'noren' which will be shown at the 'Mino Washi Noren Shop Curtain' exhibition in Japan. A noren is a Japanese traditional divider made from fabric which is hung on walls, windows or in doorways. For this exhibition all past participants of the Mino Paper Art Village Project (Artist in Residence) are invited to make a noren using Mino Washi Paper. I used this opportunity to experiment with pastel crayons and decorative motifs.
Mino Merchant and House Festival
'Mino Washi Noren Shop Curtain Exhibition'
The history of Mino Washi paper goes back 1300 years. It was admired for its beauty, strength and softness. During the Edo period Mino Washi became a luxury and was being used for sliding doors.
In 2014 Unesco placed the traditional craft of hand making paper from Mino, Misumi-cho and Ogawa on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In Mino this special paper is called "Hon-minoshi".
The bark used for "Hon-Minoshi" comes from the finest Mullberry tree (Nasu Kozo). During the 5 days paper making workshop we learned about the process of making Mino Washi paper. The main activity was making large-sized papers. Other things we did were washing the bark in the water basin, putting the bark inside the boiling pot of water and soda, and taking out the dark and hard bits left inside the bark. The photos show some of the steps made during the process of making Mino Washi paper. I hope you enjoy the photos! View my previous post to see an article about me in the Chunichi Shimbun.
De geschiedenis van Mino Washi papier begon 1300 jaar geleden. Toen al werd het bewonderd om haar schoonheid, kracht en zachtheid. Tijdens de Edo-periode (1603- 1868) was Mino Washi een luxe product en werd het gebruikt voor schuifdeuren.
In 2014 plaatste Unesco de traditionele ambacht van het met de hand maken van papier uit Mino, Misumi-cho en Ogawa op de lijst van "Immaterieel Cultureel Erfgoed van de mensheid". In Mino wordt dit speciale papier "Hon-minoshi" genoemd.
De vezels van de beste Moerbeiboom 'Nasu Kozo' worden gebruikt voor het maken van "Hon-Minoshi". Tijdens de 5 dagen van de workshop leerden we over het proces van het maken van Mino Washi papier. Maar de meeste tijd besteedden we aan het maken van Mino Washi papier zelf. We gebruikten een grote 'suketa' dat door middel van draden aan bamboestokken hing. Al snel ervaarde ik waarom, omdat de mix van water met papier en aoi tororo erg zwaar was. Daarbij moest je gecontroleerde bewegingen met de 'suketa' maken, zodat het papier mooi en sterk wordt.
Andere dingen die we deden was het wassen van de witte bast in het bassin, de bast in de kokende pot met alkaline doen- en er later weer uithalen, en de donkere en harde stukjes uit de bast halen. De foto's tonen een aantal van de stappen tijdens het proces van het maken van Mino Washi papier.
Een artikel over mijn deelname aan deze workshop is in de Chunichi Shimbun (krant) verschenen.
This year I went to Mino for the second time to follow a 5- days paper making workshop at the Mino Washi Traditional Paper Museum. Our teacher Ichihara Toshiko-sensei, a professional Mino Washi papermaker, taught us the process of making Mino washi. We spent most of the time making large-sized washi. I was interviewed by the"Chunichi Shimbun" about why I follow this workshop and my admiration and use of Mino washi paper. The photo shows me taking out the dark and hard bits (chiritori) from the fibers.
Thank you everyone for coming to the opening. It was such a nice day! The wonderful singing performance by Mari Fuji really moved me. With Chiemi Fukumori's dance in unison they were fantastic! Thank you very much! I hope to see your performance again somewhere in the Netherlands or maybe..Japan?
During the opening I talked about the importance of esthetics in my art and the influence of Japanese art and architecture. Furthermore I explained some of my prints taking different approaches. Since I went to Japan last year as Artist in Residence at the Itsukaichi Printstudio I mostly made prints. At the moment I am searching for a more "poetic" way of expressing light by using Japanese pigments. Also I am adding more elements of nature into my paintings. A begin has already been made in the diptych prints 'Shoji Window'.
The day ended with a Workshop Shodo (calligraphy) by Chiemi Fukumori. Enthusiastically she told us about the Japanese characters 'Kanji' and the way of writing. I was surprised to hear about the strokes inside the kanji 'wind' (Japanese: 風) meaning 'worm'.
If you didn't have the chance to come to the opening; my paintings, prints and paper boxes will be in Wunderkammer until the 21st of August. For other questions, please leave a message.
Solo Exhibition 'Gloss Over'
Where: Wunderkammer, Kanaalstraat 149a, Amsterdam
Date: July 12th - August 21st.
Sunday the 12th of July is the opening of my solo exhibition 'Gloss Over' at Wunderkammer in Amsterdam. 'Gloss Over' can mean to 'make attractive' and even 'to cover up'. Or just something that leaves a glossy shine.
I am inspired by Japanese culture, the architecture and landscape. Though I suspect that Japanese culture and architecture aren't two separate matters. I would like to refer to the essay "In praise of shadows' by Junichiro Tanizaki.
At Wunderkammer I will show my latest linocut and woodcut prints. The square shape is derived from the latticework of the Japanese shojiscreen (the shojiscreen can be seen in my previous woodcut prints also at Wunderkammer). Furthermore there will be paper light-objects and paintings, one of which will be shown for the first time.
Looking out of the windows in Japan in 2014, the view of the mountains was 'disrupted' by electricity cables. This 'cutting through' space and dealing with it on a two dimensional plane has been my subject of study for quite a while.
The things that are around us everyday, but we hardly pay attention to. Things that you find ugly or simply necessary. I think that everything should be beautiful. And to be true, I don't find it hard to imagine.
I hope to see you at the opening!
Solo Exhibition 'Gloss Over'
Where: Wunderkammer in Amsterdam.
Date: July 12th - August 21st.
Opening: July 12th / 14:00
From July 5 until August 29 Galerie Iroha will display ceramic stockworks from Anne Marie Miskotte-Metz, Charlotte Poulsen (DM/FR), Haruka Matsuo (JP/NL), Jassu Kaneko (JP/NL), Katja Van Breedam (B), Kazuko Uga (JP), Liesbeth de Jonge, Marja Vogelezang-Sundquest, Mirjam Veldhuis, Nathalie Sonnet(FR), Nicoline Nieuwenhuis, Ria van Roomen, Ric Sebes, Ruthvan Eck-Rotholz (VS/NL), Sonja Sebes, Toshi Takeuchi (JP/CH), and Yuta Segawa (JP/VK), printworks from Anna Metz, Yana Poppe and Yuriko Miyoshi(JP) and paintings from Mamiko Nagatomo (JP/NL).
To view photos of the opening of the group exhibition '50 shades of PINK' go to their Fb page Stichting WEP. Here are a few photos I took on Sunday.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to show my works at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. For the first time you can see my latest woodcut prints "Tokura no.2" and "Tokura no.3". They are images of my residence in Japan, looking through the shoji (paper screen) windows of the living room. You can find them in the Spinoza Building at the Faculty of Social Sciences (Montessorilaan 3). April and May.
Printmaking Studio Itsukaichi is located on a mountain nearby a shrine. The building is a former townhall. On the ground floor are press-machines, hand presses and many tools. On the first floor are the living quarters where I stayed with two Japanese printmakers: Miki Hatakeyama (silkscreen, woodcut and lithograph) and Ayumi Anzai (lithograph). You can view the works I made at the printmakingstudio here.
After Mino I not only came to love Japanese paper, I also very much enjoyed the process of how to make paper. Naturally I got excited when I learned about a paper making workshop just a few kilometres from the printmaking studio. Here are some photos of us making Gundo paper
Thank you everyone for coming! It was very nice meeting new people, as well as seeing old friends again.
For the people who could not come: until February the 22nd you can view my works at Galerie Iroha in Dordrecht.
It's a pity you missed my talk during the vernissage. If you have any questions regarding my works, feel free to contact me.
Tomorrow (January 15) starts my solo-exhibition "Scenery in Japan" at Galerie Iroha in Dordrecht.
Besides light objects from Mino paper, you can see the diptych paintings "Japanese Interior" including the latest two "Japanese Interior no. 3" and "Japanese Interior no. 4". I am particularly excited to show you my newest works: linocut- and woodcut prints on Kozo paper I made in the Fall of 2014 at Art Studio Itsukaichi.
Did you know that the traditional craft of Mino paper-making is now (since 2014) on the list of UNESCO? The paper light objects are from handmade Mino paper I made during my stay as Artist in Residence at the Mino Paper Art Village Project. Also the "Japanese Interior" diptychs are painted on handmade Mino paper I made during that time.
The title "Scenery in Japan" refers to the direct surrounding during my stays in Japan. The images for the prints for example, come from outside the Art Studio Itsukaichi. Two of them are views from the windows on the first floor.
Although my main source of inspiration is the urban landscape, for the "Japanese Interior" diptychs I was influenced by the traditional and modern Japanese interiors. The structure of the latticeworks and the openness of the architecture is interesting, something I had not experienced before. Even in modern Japanese architecture specific features can be seen, for example tatami mats and sliding doors.
The opening of the exhibition is on Sunday the 18th of January, where I also will be present.
Newsletter in Japanese (JP)
Newsletter in Dutch (NL)
I am looking forward to 2015 which will start with my solo exhibition "Scenery in Japan". From January 15 till February 22 you can view my paintings and washi lightboxes at Galerie Iroha in Dordrecht. Also my latest prints which I made in Japan as Artist in Residence at "Art Studio Itsukaichi" will be on display. I will be there on January the18th. Welcome!
I had the honour to meet Klaas Geertsma - painter and graphic designer- in his studio at the Biotoop in Haren (The Netherlands). It was interesting to see both his paintings, which are mainly landscapes- and posters. Many of Geertsma's posters are a combination of text and image. In fact, Geertsma is very passionate about typesetting. Over the years he has collected many different types of letters as well as presses. While during the Art Academy I followed a course in manual typesetting, I spent most of my time on painting. It's a great opportunity being able to work for three months in a studio with equipment for techniques like copperplate, lithograph and woodcut. Perhaps many of you know that the famous Japanese Ukiyo-e prints (from artists like Kitagawa Utamaro and Katsushikai Hokusai) have been made by using the woodcut technique. I am really looking forward to see the Japanese woodcutting and printing techniques up close. And I hope I will bring some of my own experiments back to The Netherlands.
Creepy cute mascot
In Japan mascots, or 'yuru kyara' (loose characters) are used by national government organizations, local governments, companies and individuals for the purpose of public relations. These mascots often look 'kawaii'; adorable, cute and soft, think of Hello Kitty. They all have their own fans.
The craze about mascots has resulted in local governments (prefectures and municipalities) competing to create their own mascot. People can vote for the most popular mascot at national contests. Okazaemon, created by contemporary artist Saitokouheita however doesn't look very cute. His face is designed as the kanji 'oka' (岡) in Okazaki, and 'zaki' (崎) is written on his chest to depict chest hair. Artist Saitokouheita uses the term "ill chara" to describe Okazaemon, inspired by the album title "Licenced to ill" from the Beasty boys. Okazaemon really likes music and dancing and appears in several music videos.
Though Okazaemon is relatively new to the scene, he already earned quite some fame, which I think is partly due to its' appearance. Okazaki city mayor Yasuhiro Uchida even designed Okazaemon as Okazaki's Minister for Arts Promotion. Okazaemon was used as part of the PR for the Aichi Triennale 2013. Recently a shop opened where you can buy all kinds of Okazaemon goods.
This month, on June 14, Okazaemon will make his debut in Europe at the "Lollipop Factory Budapest" in Hungary.
Okazaemon at the Lollipop Factory Budapest
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29 mei t/m 31 augustus in het Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
Werelds dunste papier Tengujyou is het belangrijkste materiaal voor mijn lantaarn 'Inside'.
De techniek voor het vervaardigen van dit papier uit Mino (Gifu-prefectuur) dateert uit de 13e eeuw. Gifu-prefectuur is een van de meest belangrijkste regio's in Japan dat papier vervaardigt.
Meer informatie over Tengujyou papier heb ik geplaatst onderaan bij 'Links'.
Ik heb in 2011 Japans schilderen (Nihonga) gestudeerd aan de Nagoya Zokei Universiteit. Sindsdien gebruik ik Japanse pigmenten en penselen voor mijn schilderijen op papier. Terug in Nederland besefte ik dat mijn kennis van Japans papier erg klein is. In 2013 werd ik geselecteerd voor de Artist in Residence in Mino. Het is de enige AiR in Japan die workshops in papier maken aanbiedt. Zie: Mino AiR Blog.
Tijdens mijn verblijf heb ik deelgenomen aan het jaarlijkse Mino Washi Akari Art Festival. Geïnspireerd door transparantie, gelaagdheid en het gebruik van papier in traditionele Japanse huizen, ging ik op zoek naar dun papier. In een van de vele papierwinkels van Mino vond ik Tengujyou, een dun (0,03 mm) papier, verkrijgbaar in verschillende kleuren en kleurverlopen. Het eerste resultaat is de lantaarn 'Outside'.
De lantaarn 'Inside' verschilt in vorm, daarbij heb ik houten frames gebruikt. De vele uitgesneden rechthoeken heb ik op de achterkant van het Tengujyou papier geplakt. Samen met de lamp heb ik onderzocht hoe de kleuren elkaar beïnvloeden door verschillende vellen voor elkaar te plaatsen. Ik vind het belangrijk dat de eigenschappen van het Tengujyou papier goed zichtbaar blijven.
Minogami (Mino papier)
Mino Artist in Residence
Mino AiR Blog (mijn verblijf in Japan)
Click 'Read More' for the English text