Tag Archives: Sadamasu

Figures and Backgrounds in Ukiyo-e

Japanese woodblock prints liberate the figure from the ground by either dipensing with it altogether, or by embedding it like in marquetry, or by creating a series of flat cut outs arranged in shallow space – like the flats in a theatre. The figure can be turned into the complex system of signs and symbols that create narrative or else be involved in the complex visual game of ‘mitate’ where people and things stand for or make equivalence with other things… naturalism as known in the west is not part of the repetoire of ukiyo-e artists, their game was more complicated Continue reading

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Before and After Hirosada

Hirosada, Kataoka Gado as Hayana Kanpei There is a clear division in the design and the feel of Osaka prints that occurs at around 1840. This is in part due to the hiatus caused by the notorious attempts by the … Continue reading

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Okubi-e Portraits

Kunichika, Nakamura Shikan as Kato Kiyomasa Okubi-e refers to the distinctive large head to frame ratio of certain ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock print) portraits from eighteenth and nineteenth century Japan. There’s no strict definition here as to what constitutes a portrait … Continue reading

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