In August of 2009 we received a new consignment of all hand-made woodblock prints by Japanese printmaker Katsuyuki Nishijima. Among them were many new (or old) designs that we had never seen before. With this page we want to share some of the new designs with you.
First Publication: September 2009
Latest Update: May 2013
In terms of numbers of Japanese woodblock prints produced (and sold), Katsuyuki Nishijima is probably the most successful contemporary woodblock printmaker in Japan. When Mr. Katsuyuki Nishijima publishes a new limited edition, it is usually large - 500 impressions, each copy signed and numbered. Other artists can only dream of such huge editions. Nevertheless these prints are sold out fast.
The artist has specialized in views of old Japan - old stores in Kyoto and elsewhere, farmhouses, romantic landscapes, old lanes and more. His subjects are timeless. We have never seen a human being or a car depicted on any of his woodblock prints.
He shows the beauty of Japan - as most people would like to see it. It is a bit a continuation of the sales philosophy of the Japanese shin hanga art movement. But while shin hanga prints were not cheap and not meant for the common Japanese people, but rather expensive art for a small bourgois minority, Katsuyuki Nishijima creates art for the common man (and woman, of course).
Let us call it popular moku hanga ('hanga' = print, and 'moku' = wood in Japanese). The formula of Katsuyuki's success is simple. He combines the beauty of shin hanga with the low price of ukiyo-e of the nineteenth century.
You find Katsuyuki Nishijima prints in different sizes and publication schemes. They come in open or limited editions, and they come signed or unsigned.
A typical print has for instance oban size, an edition of 500, is numbered and signed by the artist in pencil. It has a retail price of roughly $150 - a reasonable price for an all hand-made beautiful, Japanese woodblock print by one of the most successful and best-known contemporary Japanese printmakers.
Here are ten more beautiful Japanese woodblock prints by this wonderful artist.
A few yers ago we produced this video about Katsuyuki Nishijima.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
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