|Japanese Prints||Sign In | Register | Contact us | New User?|
Whimsical owls, cats, Buddhist subjects and a few humans every now and then - that is the world of Iwao Akiyama, Japanese master printmaker and internationally renowned and esteemed artist. His art work is witty and makes the viewer smile and feel good.
First Publication: July 2004 < br/> Latest Update: April 2013
When you look for instance into a pair of red-eyed owls who are enjoying the day because the hunters are on holiday, or into a pair of worried eyes, because the owl picked the last persimmon - well, then you know this is a work by Iwao Akiyama!
Don't think this is naive art! We have seldom seen an artist who can express a typical mood, pose or sentiment so poignantly and charming at the same time with what looks like a few simple shapes and ink lines.
When we saw the first prints by the artist, we found them a bit strange and not overly exciting (we love colors). But the more of his works we have seen, the more we liked them. And in the meantime, we love them.
Iwao Akiyama was born in a small village in the South of Japan, in Oita prefecture on Kyushu Island. When he was 8 years old, he received drawing lessons by a Buddhist monk.
Later he attended and graduated from the school of Taiheiyogakai in 1956. Originally trained in oil painting, the young artist turned to woodblock printmaking when he met Shiko Munakata. Akiyama studied with him from 1959 to 1965. The influence of his master on his style is evident.
We do not have any detailed information, but Akiyama seems to to be still quite active after the year 2000. He is now in his eighties and it looks like he can continue the tradition of other famous hanga artists like Umetaro Azechi, who could still climb small mountains at the age of 90, or Unichi Hiratsuka, who became 102 years old.
We wish the artist many, many more years in good health and in happy activity - creating hanga of more funny-looking owls or whatever he is up to.
Overall the artist had more than 100 solo exhibitions in Japan and several dozens outside the country.
Prints by Iwao Akiyama are in many major museums that display contemporary Japanese art.
Art collectors who are flirting with the purchase of a print by Iwao Akiyama should know that his works are printed on a very thin, long-fibred Japanese paper. This kind of paper is wavy by nature. Therefore the images on the internet always look a little bit strange. The wavy structure produces an image with dark and light "stripes". This is no defect, but the way these works are and are supposed to be.
All woodblock prints we have seen so far, were printed in mostly black against an uncolored paper background. Sometimes a little bit of color is added like some red for an owl's eyes.
Iwao Akiyama works in the traditional Japanese woodblock technique. Typical edition sizes are from 100 to 200 for signed and numbered pieces. Prices are still reasonable. For a few hundred bucks you will get a nice, original print signed by one of the great masters of modern Japanese printmaking.
33 sold object(s) by Iwao Akiyama born 1921 in our Art Archive
2 signature(s) by Iwao Akiyama in our Signature Database
Author: Dieter Wanczura
The images on this web site are the property of the artist(s) and or the artelino GmbH and/or a third company or institution. Reproduction, public display and any commercial use of these images, in whole or in part, require the expressed written consent of the artist(s) and/or the artelino GmbH.