Kyoto Art Festival’s International Exhibition of Art: 2D


Many artists, maybe especially in Japan, use only their last name or a nickname. Ichiha is one such artist and works with powdered minerals and other powdered colours using a binder to paint in a technique called Nihonga in Japan (Nihon=Japan) but is actually based on Chinese techniques.


Makiko Arai paints landscapes in what looks like oil paintings but are actually Nihonga with techniques similar to what Ichiha and others use. She is also the supervisor of the Kyoto Art Festival Committee and decides what goes where in the show. She is basically the boss.


Mamiko Egawa won an award for her Nihonga-style painting of camellias.


The picture in the catalogue is different, but I think Shoko Maekawa won an award for her Nihonga-style painting.


Makiko Berry also used mineral pigments in a binder with the Nihonga technique. I never thought she did Nihonga. Her paintings are very different from the more traditional styles of others. Hers are quite experimental with a vibrancy instead of a stiffness that most Nihonga have.


I think this Nihonga-style painting is by Yukako Koga but I am not sure.


Yuko Takagi did a contemporary take on Nihonga-style painting. It is interesting to me that her instructor in art school was Tamako Kataoka, who had a retrospective in Tokyo this year. Kataoka did her own thing.


Kenta Ohnishi was selected by the Mitsubishi department stores as a future art star to keep an eye on. Perhaps this recognition gave him confidence and he tried a new theme this year. I personally think this is one of his best so far. The composition, the silhouette of the bird, and the outlined paper cranes make this a much bolder piece than he has done in the past.


Kyoko Ibe’s piece is interesting, because you do not see many abstract Nihonga paintings.


Guri Tomosato is another artist who goes by her nickname. Also interesting is that this kawaii (cute) picture is done with Nihonga materials! I never knew that before. She was also one of the sculptors in a public show outside the Kyoto municipal art museum.


Not included in the catalogue but I am quite sure that this is by Haruka Iwai using powdered pigment in a binder (glue).


I think this is a Nihonga-style painting by Yumi Kosugi. I am not sure, because the picture in the catalogue is different.


My photograph does not do justice to Wataru Kawashima’s painting. He used powdered pigments in a binder and charcoal, which are traditional media for Nihonga, but he did it on a sheet of stainless steel.


Shuizuko Kobayashi’s folding screen is also dyed. One folding screen was already near the entrance in a safe spot, so I think they probably chose to put this on a stand instead of the floor to keep it safe from people stepping on it.


Mi (please add umlauts above the last two As) is a printmaker, but she tried textile art and dyed this while in Kyoto. In fact, it was still wet when it was hung up. By hanging it in front of the alcove, a small breeze could occasionally move the light layers and make them flutter.


Masayuki Isa, another textile artist, used dyes to create the night sky.

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You might think that Kazuko Shibuya‘s piece is an acrylic painting, but you would be wrong. It is dyed! And it is not just geometric shapes. It is actually a pair of clasped hands with those half-circles being knuckles. Do you see it now? Shibuya is supposedly a legend in the Kyoto textile community. I wonder if she remembers agreeing to make a kimono for my lucky friend…


Michio Nakamura’s mixed media, including printmaking techniques and Yoshiaki Sakuma‘s intgalio are a study in contrasts. Would Nakamura’s piece qualify as a monoprint? Just wondering…


I am not sure who made this. Taking a photo of the name card does not help if you cannot read the letters afterwards. Sorry to whoever was the maker of this lovely shodo calligraphy.


Wendy Griffin’s intaglio print, Luanda Lozano Ozarchievici’s print that combined silk aquatint, paper lithography, and chine colle (add an accent over that last E), John Greco from Virginia Press pointing to Steven Boothe’s digital signscape on aluminum, and John Greco’s photo etching


Closer view of Wendy Griffin’s intaglio print, Luanda Lozano Ozarchievici’s print that combined silk aquatint, paper lithography, and chine colle (add an accent over that last E).


Closer view of Steven Boothe’s digital print.


Close-up of John Greco’s photo etching.


Katariina Mannio‘s relief print combined several different techniques.


Doesn’t Yuchen Chang’s intaglio looks like a delicate ink painting? I love that she chose a traditional Asian topic but did it as an intaglio print instead of an ink painting.


I have not been able to figure out who made this even though it as one of my favorite pieces in the show. I especially liked when Jung Byungmil’s lacquer piece was standing in front of this piece, because the colours of each complimented the other. Maybe made by Hiroshi Asatani?


Award winner Bao Ri Chuan made this lovely ink paintings.


Haruo Suzuki is another one of the busy group leaders. He is also active in the community, but he must have made time to finish the details in this painting.


Noriko Miyazaki’s painting looks like more powdered pigments but is really an acrylic painting.


Charles Roche‘s painting was perfect for the season. This was his first time participating in this group show.


A small detail of Tetsuro Fujimori’s piece is in the catalogue but not the whole thing. He is the director of the visual arts portion of the annual Kyoto art festival. The long-standing joke is that he makes the same mountain every year but that it is becoming smaller and smaller as time goes by. He explained that he actually does make a new piece every year. All of those little dots are pins. Since he is busy helping everybody else set up, I have no idea when he gets to add all of those pins. A forest-covered hill, called mountains in Japan, near his residence is being defaced as local developers scavenge it for wood, stones, sand, soil, and then eventually space for houses. This series documents the ravishment of nature.


I think this is a pastel drawing, or painting depending on your preferred terminology, by Minoru Masuda but I am not sure


I think but I am not sure that this is by Shunyo Kawarabayashi. It was originally supposed to be all in one row, but it took up too much space. Size restrictions are given, so the group must decided what to do when a piece is too large. An editorial decision was made to change its format to that of a square but still keep the sequence. It ended up being visually stronger as a square.


Virginia Marum submitted several small, mixed-media pieces.


I am not sure who made this piece; I cannot remember. It was striking nonetheless!

This annual show, as you can see, is very large and attracts a lot of talented artists.


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