The Work Of Okiie Hashimoto

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CRAFT: The Work of Okiie Hashimoto  

Okiie Hashimoto remains one of Japan’s most
renowned and respected woodblock printers, whose striking work pushed the
boundaries of tradition in mid-twentieth century Japan.

Born in 1899, Hashimoto spent most of his life
as an art teacher and assistant principle of the first girls’ high school in
Tokyo. Whilst teaching, he became a prominent member of the Yoyogi group – an
iconic circle of woodblock printers -having attended Un’ichi Hiratsuka’s short
course in woodblock printing after graduating. Working in the sosaku-hanga
style, also known as ‘creative prints’, Hashimoto developed his definitive
style, ignoring the process of collaboration between carver, printer, artist
and eventual publisher. Influenced by Western ideals, Hashimoto and the Yoyogi
group broke from tradition by insisting on artistic autonomy – from initial
idea, to cutting and printing.

Today Hashimoto’s work is instantly recognisable
through its bold use of colour and unique depiction of iconic Japanese scenes
and landscapes.

Images: Okiie

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