January 23~29, 2005

Sixteenth Annual Exhibition
(Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan, Yurakucho Tokyo)

In contrast to the past couple of years, where the views of the exhibition were almost exactly the same from year to year, the show this time is almost completely 'refreshed' - we have moved from the Takano Gallery (which is closing, forcing us to move after thirteen years there) to a wider space in the Kotsu Kaikan Building in the heart of the vibrant Yurakucho district of central Tokyo ...

If you have a good internet connection, then you can see a small movie 'tour' of the exhibition here. (8Mb) (This sequence of photos is a collection of screen shots from that movie.)

The gallery is located in the shopping mall on the first underground level beneath the building. The mall contains a mix of small shops, restaurants, and other galleries. Here is the view walking towards the 'Gold Salon', our gallery:

Stepping inside ... to the left is the reception desk, with flowers sent by collector Mrs. Yokota. A visitor is picking up some of the postcards and pamphlets that are placed there ...

Over on the right side of the room are the panels with prints from the 'Beauties of Four Seasons' series, mounted together with their stories:

As usual, this area of the room is kept under dim illumination, with each print mounted under a small spotlight which shows off the 'relief' to best advantage. There are no frames, no glass, nothing between the viewer and the beautiful paper. The prints get a bit 'wrinkled' in the extremely dry air, but I think this is a small price to pay in exchange for the 'immediacy' of the open contact ... And it helps make them look 'real', not just 'images' under glass ...

The 'autumn' print is mounted together with a small magnifying glass - I really want people to be able to get a good close look at that hair carving!

And the woodblock for that print is placed on the stand just below it. People can pick it up, fondle it, and get a real sense of just how these prints are made!

Over on the facing wall are mounted the 50 prints from the five Surimono Albums that I made in recent years. Landscapes ... nature prints ... beauties ... actor portraits ... a bit of everything here, something for everybody!

This shot was taken in the second room; along one wall is mounted a series of 23 'step-by-step' prints showing how a complex image comes together. (View the video to see them all ...)

At the back of that room are the stands containing the eight 'David's Choice prints - items from my own collection, displayed here to try and show people some of the hidden treasures of the world of woodblock printmaking!

One special item - visible in this photo - is a set of three 'cut and fold' woodblock prints from the Meiji era. We took a set of colour copies of these rare (untouched) prints, and used these to build the completed project - a scene from a kabuki drama ...

On another wall is a selection of 40 images from my long series of the Hyakunin Isshu poets ...

... and in the centre of the back room is a wide table with display stands giving information on how to order my prints, along with sample sets from each series.

And of course ... last, but not least ... a sample of my new Hanga Treasure Chest. Orders for this series have been very good so far, and it looks like I'm in for an interesting year of printmaking!

Thank you for taking this 'virtual' tour of the exhibition. I wish you could come and see it for 'real'!