Japanese Visual Research


It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some visual goodies with y’all. Feels like a fresh return to the old days before the internet was a content firehose. These are things I’ve come across in my various feeds and internet travels that are giving me the oooh yeahs. I’ve gotten into using Pocket (hat tip to my friend Meighan for telling me about this) specifically for saving things online and it’s drastically reduced my too-many-browser-tabs-open habit. Pocket is a cross between Instapaper, Dropmark, Pinterest, and Ello. It’s less social than Pinterest and Ello, which I prefer because it keeps me focused on the content I want to save later and it’s also got an algorithm that suggests similar and popular items so I can discover new stuff too. Best part is I go without being distracted by clothes I don’t need to buy, getting sideswiped by a topical essay I didn’t intend to read, or sucked into an internet K-hole. This way, I check in with my Pocket account and read/tidy/organize what’s in there. To read, pin, and share. Whoop!

One of the earliest forms of poetry my Dad taught me about was Haiku, obviously Japanese, and when he got sick, this memory came back like a pile of bricks (also another favorite phrase of his). I started researching other Japanese concepts and art forms. For the last 9 months or so I’ve been on a tear, everything from Japanese textiles to prints, calligraphy, architecture, and of course the food.  Every so often I dig around and see what else I can find, these beauties came from Pinterest (still using it despite by Pocket endorsement above).

Jun Kaneko

I desperately wish I could sport this delightful Haori style jacket, but alas, it’s one off custom piece from 1979 by Japanese-American artist Jun Kaneko.

Iwami Reika

Thank you, internet, for leading me to discover Iwami Reika, the first female Japanese woodblock artist to achieve the same level of status and respect to the long history of male woodblock designers/printers. Most of her work was produced in the period following WW2, but I can’t get over how contemporary it looks still. The link to this piece is defunct, but you can learn more about Rieka here.

Fumio Fujita Fumio Fujita

Fumio Fujita Fumio Fujita. 1967 Woodblock print Image size: 10 1/2″ x 15″. Source. Most of Fujita’s work is more realistic in nature, but I’m clearly feeling the more abstract style of this, along with the other abstract pieces I’ve selected here.

Masaji Yoshida Moss Koke No 1

Masaji Yoshida / Moss (Koke) No. 1 / c.1950 / Japanese / woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Source. Love the soft colors and shapes, very soothing and introspective.

Ray Morimura

Next to no information on this artwork, other than it’s available to license on Photobucket? Regardless, I like the flat graphic quality and the architectural feel of it.

Like what you see here? Hop on over to my Japanese themed Pinterest board for regular additions to this.

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