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Tadashi Osaka has two things in common with Hiroshi Yoshida: he has acquired a great mastership of the technique of Japanese woodblock printmaking and he is a real cosmopolitan. Japanese print subjects need not be restricted to temples and pagodas. Since a sketching trip to Spain in the 1990s Tadashi Osaka has discovered the charm of old medieval villages and towns of South European countries - Spain, Portugal and Italy.
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His stunning images have brought the artist wide attention at several solo shows at Yoseido Gallery and at several of the latest CWAJ Print Shows. Both are among the most prestigious exhibition events a contemporary Japanese artist can strive to attend.
We published this article at the occasion of our first presentation of woodblock prints by Mr. Tadashi Osaka in a solo auction running from February 26 until March 2, 2006. The solo auction feature(s/d) 31 of the artist's best prints since 1984 including several of his major art works shown at the prestigious CWAJ print shows.
When you look at one of the more recent (ca. the last ten years) art prints created by Tadashi Osaka, you would not expect them to be woodblock prints. Especially the larger formats, when looked at from a wider distance have stunning photo-realistic qualities. You would expect them to be silkscreens made with the help of some photo-mechanical process.
But wrong, very wrong. Mr. Tadashi Osaka creates woodblock prints in the best of Japanese traditions. His works should best be looked at from different distances. Depending on your distance, your feelings will vary - from disbelieve to warm appreciation and finally to silent admiration of such capabilities. And you begin to realize how much effort it must require before Tadashi Osaka can finish one such print.
Mr. Tadashi Osaka is especially good in creating the impression of textures. The display of roofs of Mediterranean houses is a good example. If you have ever seen an ancient village or small town in Italy or Spain or Portugal from bird's view - for instance from an old medievial tower as in Siena or a church tower you will remember those images for ever. And you recognize them again in Tadashi Osaka's woodblock print images! It is as if you were on the spot!
We have tried to demonstrate the intricate technique of the artist by displaying on this page one of his best print images in different enlargements from the total print (image size: 80.6 cm by 53.8 cm = 31.7 by 21.2 inches) to a very small zoom-in. The image shows Morella in Spain, and the print was exhibited at the 47th CWAJ show in Tokyo in 2002 - see CWAJ catalog, page 92, plate 154.
In our opinion the most elaborate prints of the artist are his large formats. We liked them personally best as they demonstrate in an impressive way the unique skills of Mr. Osaka. But the number of the larger formats are limited due to the time-consuming effort before one oeuvre can be finished.
Tadashi Osaka was born in 1937 in Osaka. He had studied architecture. That explains his affinity to town views in the selection of his woodblock print subjects. Later he studied art under Fumio Kitaoka and Waichi Hayashi. Tadashi Osaka is member of Shunyo-kai Art Society. In 2005 the artist participated for the 4th year at the prestigious CWAJ (College Women of Japan) Print Show. The annual CWAJ Print Show is the major exhibition event in the world of art prints in Japan.
Here is an abbreviated resum� of the artist.
2005 was a busy year for Mr. Tadashi Osaka. He is now standing on a new summit of his personal career. Focus of his exhibition activities were several solo shows at prestigious galleries in Tokyo.
And then there was the 50th CWAJ Print Show from October 21-23. It was Mr. Osaka's fourth participation in a CWAJ show. Being admitted for the 50th show was a special honor. The CWAJ celebrated the 50th anniversary with all bells and whistles. The print show at the American Club in Tokyo was a huge gig.
The year 2006 has started with a solo show at Tokyo's Persimmon Gallery. It took place from January 7-17. The show was accompanied by an exhibition poster - see image to the right. It shows the artist's print design Alberobello - a town view from Italy. You find this design as item number 18849 and as edition 1/50 in artelino's solo auction for Tadashi Osaka.
Currently - February 2006 - Mr. Tadashi Osaka is planning a new sketching tour. He is going to Italy.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
(February 2006, updated November 2009)
Tadashi Osaka Art Gallery - home page of the artist in Japanese.
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