January 20~26, 2008

Nineteenth Annual Exhibition
(Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan, Yurakucho Tokyo)

This exhibition was held in the same place as usual, the Kotsu Kaikan building in the heart of the Yurakucho district of Tokyo.

You can see a small movie 'tour' of the exhibition here. (12Mb)

Here is a sequence of photo screen shots that follows pretty much the same walk-around pattern as that little movie. We'll start the tour with the view from out in the shopping mall, walking towards the 'Gold Salon', our gallery:

Just inside the door, on the left, is the desk with the guest book and explanation pamphlets. Again this year, collector Yokota-san sent an arrangement of spring flowers for us:

Over against the right wall, where the display with the scroll was located last year, are the first two prints from the 'My Solitudes' series, with Kato-sensei's flowers next to them.

... and over on the left wall, the next two ...

Although in recent years I have placed the prints on these panels without frames in order that people can get a real close-up feel for them, I went back to using frames this year. These prints are not really a traditional type, but actually have perspective, so it makes more sense to treat them this way. The frames cast unsightly shadows, but hopefully people's attention is mostly drawn to the prints themselves. This is the 'River in Summer' ...

Here's the 'Forest in Autumn'

The 'Seaside in Autumn' ...

... and the 'River in Winter'

I usually put the prints up on these panels accompanied by their 'stories', but that is not possible this year, as the stories are real stories ... about 10,000 words each. So instead, I prepared a table in the centre of the room, where there are four sample books that guests can sit and read.

The table also has a display stand with information on the series. On the wall beyond, you can see a selection of clips taken from television programs on my work, and the entrance to the second room.

On the right wall of the back room is the identical display of the Hyakunin Isshu prints that I put there last year. There's no room for all 100 of course, so this selection has to suffice ...

Next to them are the four prints of the 'Beauties of Four Seasons' series ...

And next to that, tucked into the corner, is last year's scroll print, along with a series of panels illustrating its construction.

Over on the opposite wall are a selection of prints from the Surimono Albums, and a long table with the entire 24 prints of the Hanga Treasure Chest laid out on it.

There is also a sample of the Treasure Chest case, so people can understand how the concept works ... You get the case first, along with one print, then the other 23 arrive at two week intervals throughout the year ...

Here's the 'A Story A Week' corner, with four books now in print. And this year - for the first time - the Mokuhankan shop sold more books than prints!

Tucked into another corner is a rather squeezed-in display of the ten prints of the 'Small Print Collection' ...

In the center of this room is another browsing table. This one has a comfortable stand, with a matching pair of browser books containing sample prints and information on every print series I have made since I started doing this. Each book has a pocket in the back with order forms. We use these books as 'Approval Packs' and send them out during the year to people who would like to see the prints, but can't make it to Tokyo. (within Japan only)

Down at the back of the room, in its regular spot, is the Mokuhankan shop, with the selection of single prints for sale.

This year, for the first time, prints from my own sets are now appearing in Mokuhankan. The ones here are from my first Surimono Album, which is now 'out of print' in my original edition.

And ... if we zoom back up to the front of the gallery, we can see something that I skipped earlier - I have a demonstration space set up. It's not like my usual printing bench, but just a block and a few tools on a stand where people can watch as I pull copies of the image I used as this year's new year print. And we sold them 'hot off the press' ... for the sale price of 2500 yen.

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