Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Brook captures 'Pictures of the Floating World': The Japanese Print Show 2010/2011

'Lightning', by Nana Shiomi

Like the Wise Men in the Christmas story the Brook Gallery has looked east to bring a star of Japanese printmaking to Budleigh Salterton.

"The Brook announces a stunning exhibition of Japanese Prints to round off a superb year of exceptional shows and start the New Year with aplomb - The Japanese Print Show opens on 12 December and runs to 9 January 2011.

Beautifully encapsulated with the phrase, ‘Ukiyo-e,’ which means ‘pictures of the floating world,’ the 18th century school of Japanese printmaking was the forerunner to much that we recognise in printmaking today. The Brook acknowledges this significant influence on modern art, with a contemporary take on Japanese printmaking and woodcuts.

'Moon' by Nana Shiomi

Originally produced purely in black and white, these early Eastern prints were akin to postcards, depicting popular and often theatrical images for home decoration. Lines were bold, shapes emphatic and the drama we celebrate in Japanese prints today set the standard in this unique art form. Japanese prints evolved to include beautiful women, landscapes and eventually a combination of bold and subtle colours which led to an enthusiasm for ‘japonisme’ in Paris in the 1850s.

Angela Yarwood, owner of the Brook Gallery and admirer of Japanese printmaking, sees this influence in many of her celebrated printmakers and artists profiled at the Brook: ‘Imagine how very different these works were in comparison to European art of the mid 19th century. To offer a schedule of exhibitions over the years that doesn’t include the art of Japanese printmaking, would be like showcasing the work of the French and omitting Toulouse-Lautrec. Nana Shiomi, whose work we are including in our exhibition ‘The Japanese Print Show’ is one of the premier Japanese printmakers.

'Kangetsu' by Brian Williams

This exhibition, which also includes work by Brian Williams, focuses on the use of woodblock and the Ukiyo-e printmaking methods and seeks to contrast other practices being used by printmakers working in Japan today and those strongly influenced by its techniques.’

Nana’s work has been exhibited and sold around the world, with recent exhibitions including shows at the Mall Galleries, Christie’s and Bankside Gallery, London and The Tolman Collection, Shanghai; Malek National Library Museum, Tehran and the Kawagoe Gallery, Saitama Japan, among others.

Professor Chris Orr, friend, regular exhibitor and visitor to the Brook Gallery, and then Head of Printmaking at London’s Royal College of Art where Nana studied, recommends her extraordinary work with the words ‘she exemplifies the interchange of influences between all parts of the globe ... Technically her sure touch never lets her, or her audience, down. It adds significantly to the tradition of Japanese printmaking but lies with great affection in the heart of our European heritage. I commend to you the work of Nana Shiomi.’

Private View with Nana Shiomi 11 December 6.00 pm-9.00 pm by invitation only.
Please contact the gallery direct for details of a demonstration by Nana Shiomi
Exhibition 12 December to 9 January 2011
Brook Gallery, Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 6NH
Tel 01395 443 003
Open 10.30 am to 5.00 pm, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays

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