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Osamu Sugiyama combines two great passions - climbing mountains all over the world and carving the experiences, impressions and memories of his treks into woodblock prints. The artist exhibited his works at the 50th anniversary of the prestigious CWAJ Print Show in Tokyo in October 2005. It was his first CWAJ show and Osamu Sugiyama caused wide attention and approval by critics and visitors.
First Publication: March 2006
Latest Update: April 2013
Osamu Sugiyama was born in Tokyo in 1946. He had studied at the Yoshida Hanga Academy - an institution established by the Yoshida family to teach and encourage the art of Japanese woodblock printmaking. His teacher was Toshi Yoshida, the eldest son of Hiroshi Yoshida. Toshi Yoshida had taught a group of Japanese and international students the art of making woodblocks until the beginning of his severe illness in the early 1990s that lead to his death in 1995.
Osamu Sugiyma remains connected with the Yoshida family as a member of the hYoshida Hanga Academy. The academy organizes art shows for its members.
The passion for mountains and mountaineering has a long tradition among Japanese printmakers. The ascetic Hiroshi Yoshida is maybe the most famous one. He was a passionate mountaineer and world traveler who had portrayed his personal experience in many woodblock prints of mountain landscapes. During his short stop-over in Europe Hiroshi Yoshida had made sketches for two famous prints of mountain views in Switzerland - Mt. Matterhorn at daylight and a second version at night time - both made in 1925.
His son Toshi Yoshida had inherited his father's love for the mountains. Also quite a few of the sosaku hanga artists were avid trekkers like the arduous Azechi Umetaro or the less ambitious hiker Masao Maeda ("The finest panoramas are down in the middle heights.").
Osamu Sugiyama may have inherited the passion for mountains from his woodblock teacher Toshi Yoshida. We do not know of any other contemporary Japanese printmaker who has devoted his artistic creativity so adamantly to mountains as Osamu Sugiyama. He has trekked mountains all over the world - Japan, Nepal, Switzerland and Italy.
In his younger years the conquering of the summits was his prime goal - as for most mountaineers. Over the years the experience of the activity became more important - the different views of warmth and severity, the different pictures under different light and air conditions. A kind of Japanese zen approach.
Passionate hikers and mountaineers know that each mountain region has its own individual character. A mountain landscape in Nepal is different from Switzerland. And the mountains in South Tyrol have their own specific personality. Osamu Sugiyama has a mastership in catching the spirit and character of these different mountain regions. In my younger years I have been an avid mountain hiker myself. Osamu Sugiyama's woodblock prints have touched me deeply. They revoke my own past and memories of ambitions, exertion, fatigue, satisfaction and happiness.
I produced this little video a few years ago. You cannot run away from the sins of your past.
Here are a few more woodblock prints by Osamu SUgiyama that we would like to share with you. They are so beautiful and technically well made.
1 object(s) by Osamu Sugiyama born 1946 in current auction Japanese Prints - 1101
299 sold object(s) by Osamu Sugiyama born 1946 in our Art Archive
Author: Dieter Wanczura
.. more about Dieter Wanczura
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