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Hasegawa Yûichi

Japanese, born 1945

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Hasegawa Yûichi was born in Fukushima prefecture. At the age of twenty he met Saitô Kiyoshi--also a native of Fukushiima--while helping the artist prepare for an exhibition. Saitô's style prompted Hasegawa's interest in printmaking, which he learned by close observation of Saitô's work. The artist employs a reductive method of carving and printing, using a single block of shina plywood (made from Tilla japonica, a type of Japanese linden tree) to make a print, recutting it for each color. Hasegawa makes use of several types of pigment, including oil paint. He prefers printing onto kôzo (mulberry) and linen papers. In his own words, he describes his process: "First I prepare the papers for the edition and then carve out the areas to create the design, printing in overlapping layers. To build up the print, I apply resin or glue to the block and may carve and print as many as thirty times, repeating the process until there is nothing left of the wood--only the paper that I had prepared initially remains."

Hasegawa comes from a family of lacquer craftsmen, and the laborious process of applying layer after layer of lacquer onto a surface emerges in Hasegawa's approach, as does the lustrous black that marks the cardinal points of this print.



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