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Machida Eimei is a self-taught print artist from Nagano Prefecture in Japan. In 2005 his woodblock print 'When we arrive at the Jupiter' was selected for the 50th anniversary of the prestigious print shows of CWAJ - the most important print exhibition for contemporary Japanese artists.
First Publication: August 2006
Mr. Eimei Machida was born in Nagano prefecture in 1959. He has a Ph.D degree from Tokyo University of Science. The artist masters a wide spectrum of styles and formats. His prints range from mini sizes to very large formats. His style varies from charming-naive sosaku hanga to technically perfectly rendered landscape prints. And the subjects are as diverse as the artist's sizes and styles. We can admire still lifes, classical Japanese landscape scenes, fantasy, nature prints and even the picture of an East European church.
This wide spectrum is rare among contemporary Japanese artists who have a tendency to go deep, to specialize in certain subjects. Eimei Machida seems to go the opposite way. He is obviously eager to try new paths, to find new experiences for himself and the viewers of his art works.
But no matter how much Mr. Eimei Machida likes to apply different styles, subjects and sizes, he does not tinker with the technique that he uses. It is good, old, traditional woodblock printmaking. Woodblocks are the technique that no other people in this world has been able to bring to such heights of perfection. Japanese woodblock prints are the result of several centuries of training and devotion.
The Japanese woodblock print has so often been declared as dead or degenerated by some self-styled Western art critics. A few decades ago, these guys saw the beginning of the "demise" with Utamaro's death in 1806, later with the end of the Edo period around 1865, and finally with artists like Yoshitoshi Taiso (died 1892) and Kunichika (died 1900) as the "last masters of ...".
And even in our days you can read such nonsense of "an art doomed to die" again and again. In reality the technical capabilities of making woodblocks have reached new heights during the shin hanga period (ca. 1910 until 1950). And today the woodblock printmaking scenery in Japan is more alive than ever. British printmaker David Bull, who has lived and worked in Japan for more than 20 years, estimates the number of Japanese who create woodblocks in Japan - as professional artists or as hobby printmakers - to at least 50,000.
The public outside Japan has little awareness of contemporary Japanese printmakers. It is a handful of artists like U.S. born Clifton Karhu who are known outside of Japan - selected by a very small number of influential galleries. But these artists are only the tip of the iceberg.
We are glad that we have found Mr. Eimei Machida. His place belongs on the tip of the iceberg. And we from artelino are happy if we can contribute a little bit to present great Japanese artists like him to a worldwide audience and direct a bit of attention on them.
1990 - Japan Print Organization exhibition, Tokyo, Japan.
1996 - Kofukai exhibition, Tokyo/Japan.
1996, 1997 - Japan Print Organization exhibition, Tokyo (Prize).
1998 - 30th Japan Fine Arts exhibition (NITTEN), Tokyo.
1998 - 84th Kofukai exhibition, Tokyo (Prize).
1998, 1999 - Japan Print Organization exhibition, Tokyo (Prize).
2000 - Prints & China Group show (KEI-TEN), Tokyo.
2001 - Japan Print Organization exhibition, Tokyo (Prize).
2002 - Japan Print Organization exhibition, Tokyo (Grand prix).
2003 - New Year's Print show, Tokyo.
2003 - Print Forum in Higashichichibu (Saitama) & Ginza (Tokyo).
2003 - Solo exhibition, Ginza 'Rutan' (Tokyo).
2004 - Solo exhibition, Kunitachi 'NO TRUNKS' (Tokyo).
2004, 2005 - 36th, 37th Japan Fine Arts exhibition (NITTEN), Tokyo.
2005,2006 - 4th Kansai Print exhibition (Kyoto).
2005 - 50th CWAJ Print show, Tokyo.
Works by Eimei Machida are offered among others by the renowned Yoseido Gallery in Tokyo.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
.. more about Dieter Wanczura
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