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Hiroyuki Tajima

Japanese, 1911-1984

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Tajima emerged during the 1960s as a major figure in contemporary Japanese prints and soon became known for his inventive combinations and manipulations of media. He studied art at both Nihon University and Tokyo Art School, and he also sought out instruction in fabric dyeing and watercolor painting. After World War II, he produced abstact oil paintings and was involved in the revival of surrealist abstraction, a style that had been banned by the militarists. His experimental art-making moved in a new direction after learning woodblock printing from Nagase Yoshirô (1891-1978), to which he applied color photography processes. Late in life, Tajima moved away from graphic art to writing and the study of the tea ceremony.

Tajima's prints are characterized by a three-dimensional quality that stems from his idiosyncratic techniques. He chisels, shellacs, and distresses his blocks, and coats the block with a variety of pigments, textile dyes, and oil emulsions to create a complex, textured surface. The results are incandescent, memorable compositions.



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