NOIR / KURO 黒 Exchange Portfolio

The Nagasawa 14 Artists

Coordinated by Nel Pak and Michael Reed
Colophon by Cindi Ettinger (USA): wood relief print and letterpress

This exhibition is also held at Gallery Ami Kanoko, in Osaka, and will include works by Katie Baldwin (USA), Jacomijn den Engelsen (Netherlands), Haruka Furusaka (Japan), Henrik Hey (Netherlands), Daniel Heyman (USA), Dariusz Kaca (Poland), Yoonmi Nam (USA), Nel Pak (Netherlands), Eva Pietzcker (Germany), Michael Reed (New Zealand), Hiroki Satake (Japan), April Vollmer (USA), Alexander Wozniak (Poland), Miriam Zegrer (Germany)

Nagasawa 14 Noir Portfolio Poster, 2021 each print 33 x 27 cm

Mokuhanga prints by the Nagasawa 14, an international group of artists who are primarily past participants in Nagasawa artist in residence programme set up by CFSHE (Center for the Science of Human Endeavour) to teach the skills of Japanese watercolor woodblock printing to  modern artists. For sixteen years the group has kept in touch through exhibitions and conferences, exchanging information and meeting periodically. This is their fourth collaborative portfolio, after A Time and a Place, Tallinn, 2007; Surimono International: Woodblock and Poetry, Bristol, 2009; and Snow, Tokyo, 2014.

NOIR is the French word for ‘black’/ 黒. KURO is the Japanese word for ‘black’ in  Roman type. The theme ‘black’ is inspired by the theme of the Nara 4th International Mokuhanga Conference in 2021, entitled Sumi-Fusion. Ranging from imagination to reality, 黒/Noir allows the artists to consider the diversity of sumi tones, delicate tints to deep and shining black (黒黒 / deep black). Or, to infuse and blend black with colour, work on a black surface, or work with black subject matter and symbolism.

IMC Satellite Exhibitions at Gallery Ami Kanoko, Osaka

November 29 to December 4, 2021

Florence Neal, The Lake II, 2020 28 x 38 cm

Mara Cozzolino (Italy), Wayne Crothers (Australia), Jacqueline Gribbin (Australia), Keiko Hara (USA), Ralph Kiggell (UK), Florence Neal (USA), Ema Shin (Australia), Katsutoshi Yuasa (Japan).

These artists are all experienced mokuhanga artists and teachers with a deep appreciation for the nuances of mokuhanga. This exhibition was organized with the theme of the International Conference in mind and highlights the subtle variations in tone and feeling elicited by the use of sumi ink and black in mokuhanga woodcut printing. 

Mokuhanga Ehon International Book Exhibition, Kyoto

November 23 to December 5, 2021

Joint Satellite Exhibition with IMC2021 Conference Exhibition
91-18 Enshoji-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku
Kyoto, 606-8344 JAPAN
Open 12 am – 6 pm, Closed on Mondays

This artist’s book exhibition in Kyoto has been an integral part of every IMC conference. It is a showcase for international book artists who include mokuhanga in their handmade artist books. 

Tuula Moilanen, My Kimono, 2020, mokuhanga on self-made paper,
pages covered with cloth, 32 x 26 x 2 cm

The exhibition will be held independently at Kyoto Paradise Book Art Gallery in Kyoto. This small gallery is located in the vicinity of the Heian Shrine, the Kyoto Municipal Museum, and the famous Nanzenji Temple area. Kyoto Paradise has hosted book art and print exhibitions regularly since 2002. The gallery is located on the 2nd floor of Yamazaki Art Books Store. 

See details:

Participating artists: Elettra Gorni, Eeva Ikonen, Mariko Jesse, Irena Keckes, Keiko Kobayashi, Karen Kunc, Karen Helga Maurstig, Tuula Moilanen, Muntsa Molina, Michael Reed, Lucy May Schofield, Benjamin Selby, Elisabet Alsos Strand, Jusith Staines, April Vollmer, Ho Ching Wong, Trish Yates

City – Macau Woodblock Print Association Exhibition

Curated by Mel Cheong, President 

November 30 to December 4, 2021

nara prefectural cultural Hall, Nara

This exhibition by members of Macau Woodblock Print Association was organized by Mel Cheong as a way to bring together Asian woodblock artists. The agreed-on topic is “City”. A city has no border, it is not a country; in this globalized setting, a city offers some idea of cultural background, but does not define a person.

With this idea in mind, the curator worried that everyone would make a landmark of the city that they are living in. However, they generated much more profound ideas. Artworks come from Fukuoka, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Hubei, Macau and Shenzhen. The exhibition is not about a place, but about the people surrounding us and things nearby that inspire us.  “Art is borderless,” Cheong says. “For this reason, I hope you can enjoy our first collaboration.”

Macau Woodblock Print Association

Kanreki – 60th Anniversary Exhibition Graphic Studio Dublin

Curated by Kate MacDonagh 

November 30 to December 4, 2021

Nara prefectural cultural Hall, Nara
Kanreki Exhibition Poster, 2021
each print 34 x 26 cm

First shown at the Model Sligo, Ireland, during the second and third pandemic lockdown of 2020, the exhibition then traveled to The Graphic Studio Gallery in Dublin. The exhibition was put together virtually with Zoom meetings during the lockdown, creating a special connection among artists. 

Kanreki is a celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Graphic Studio Dublin. ‘Sixty’ is a magical number in Japanese culture. ‘Kan’ means return or cycle and ‘reki’ depicts calendar. It is a celebration of being reborn or of a new beginning. In Japan, Kanreki is traditionally symbolised by the colour red. All artists in this exhibition have incorporated red, to create mokuhanga prints. All the prints are 34 x 26 cm. 

Participating artists: Yoko Akino, Moya Bligh, Debra Bowden, Kari Cahill, Cliona Doyle, Susan Early, Niam Flangan, Paul Furneaux, Mary Grey, Patty Hudak, Ann Kavanagh, Jennifer Lane, Louise Leonard, Kate MacDonagh, Ed Miliano, Ross McDonnell, Susan Mannion, Geraldine O’Reilly, Helen O’Sullivan, Robert Russell, Mateja Smic, Elke Thonnes, Vaida Varnagiene, Katsutoshi Yuasa

This exhibition is supported by Culture Ireland

Borderless – a collaboration across continents

November 30 to December 4, 2021

A Scroll by the Mokuhanga Sisters

nara prefectural cultural Hall, Nara

Borderless is a collaborative project with a collective of artists in residence at the 2019 MI-LAB programme from the USA, Ireland, Korea and the UK. Borderless is an artist’s book edition of 8 sumi ink mokuhanga prints presented in a scroll, conceived at a time of growing political divide and separation. The collaborating artists are Katie Baldwin (USA), Patty Hudak (USA), Mariko Jesse (UK), Kate MacDonagh (Ireland), Yoonmi Nam (Korea/USA), Mia O (Korea/Japan), Lucy May Schofield (UK), Melissa Schulenberg (USA).

Mokuhanga Sisters, Borderless, 2021, emakimono scroll, 23 x 255 x 4 cm

Borderless is formed of an emakimono scroll, referencing the ancient format originally intended to provide cultural information and teach moral values. Scrolls spanned a ‘great variety of subject matter, from political commentary to epic romances and religious tales, allowing readers to immerse themselves deep within the narratives’. Historically scrolls were also used to reflect an artist’s criticism of certain government’s tactics or policies.

Borderless is a visual and emotional correspondence between artists across three continents. This dialogue in print is motivated by the desire to connect beyond the experience of the artist’s residency, creating an intersection to comment and converse on the state of division in the artists’ respective countries. In part it is a response to the UK’s choice to leave the European Union and the US presidential administration’s policy to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Borderless is a vehicle to express an alternate narrative to the culture of separation prevalent in the current political climate.

A scroll lacks limits or boundaries, the images flowing from one page to the next, across time and space. These prints, created independently in the artists’ studios, give rise to the meeting of 8 different universes, conversing to create one. These prints celebrate the diversity of style, line, form and interpretation of each contributing voice; an organic, serendipitous culmination of narrative. The scroll resists a constructed, pre-conceived reading, allowing the viewer space for contemplation and to make connections across the borders. Borderless is a place where each artist has come together, through a shared love of mokuhanga, to create a bridge between our independent practices, and socio-political concerns by communing with one another.

Akira Kurosaki Tribute Exhibition

November 30 to December 4, 2021

NARa prefectural cultural hall
Akira Kurosaki

Akira Kurosaki’s death in 2019 was an immense loss to the world of mokuhanga. A scholar and an artist, he made prints, paintings, collages and work in paper. He combined technical mastery of Japanese craft traditions with an understanding of cutting-edge contemporary art. In 1987 he became professor of Printmaking at Kyoto Seika University and initiated programs in the serious study of mokuhanga and creative papermaking. He was an IMC Honorary Board member in 2011 and 2014. Fluent in English, he was an influential teacher of international artists. He taught past IMC Chair Karen Kunc, current Chair Annu Vertanen, and board members Tuula Moilanen and Ralph Kiggell, as well as many artists currently working in mokuhanga around the world. Many more have studied with the fine artists who worked with him and went on to teaching careers.