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In a time when many artists go the easy way and have art produced by a computer, there are nevertheless still many printmakers who create art prints in the old way like centuries ago by carving the image with a knife into a wooden block. They call their way of printmaking 'moku hanga' - from the Japanese words 'moku' (block) and 'hanga' (print). This page is a index to several text-, image- and video-demonstrations of Japanese, Western and Chinese artists how to make a woodblock print the old traditional way.
As far as I know Graham Scholes was the first printmaker to produce a video that demonstrates how he makes a woodblock print. It is really impressive, and in my view it is still the best. To learn more about woodblock printmaking and about the artist, please go to Graham Scholes, a Canadian printmaker.
By the way, I appreciate him not only as a great artist, but also as a steadfast fighter for original and all-hand-made moku hanga. This man is like an oak. Graham Scholes has become famous for a series of lighthouses along the Canadian East coast. He is like a shining lighthouse himself showing and paving the way for other artists.
On this page the young Chinese female artist Zhu Liwen, born 1983 demonstrates how she made the woodblock print series Object that Speaks. This set of photographs is especially interesting because the series was made using the technique of reduction woodblock prints. The page demonstrates in 13 images different steps of Zhu Liwen's process of carving and printing.
Tom Kristensen, born 1962, is a self-trained moku hanga artist from Australia. He makes not only the designs, but also the carving of the block and the printing himself.
Tom documented how he made the woodblock print titled Currawongs, Lord Howe Island. (one of my favorite prints by Tom, by the way). Kristensen works with Japanese tools, materials and methods.
There is only one thing that I do not like about Ryusei Okamoto as an orderly German. He changed his name a while ago from Shinmi Okamoto to Ryusei Okamoto. Well, fortunately he did not cause too much confusion in our database.
But other than that I am a great fan of this superb printmaker. He was a student of the great Toshi Yoshida. Not just a student, but one of Toshi's favorite student. You will understand when you read Ryusei's biography.
Mr. Ruysei Okamoto demonstrates in a kind of printmaking diary the progress of one week how he makes one of his intricate woodblock prints. He used for the demonstration the design Temptation from the series White Fox. The following pages cover only the first 6 weeks. You can see the full process on Mr. Ryusei's homepage.
Paul Binnie is something like the upper class among contemporary Japanese printmakers. His woodblock prints and Japanese stencils (rare) are expensive. They have to be expensive as Paul creates them with all elaborate and intricate features that one can imagine. The artist's great role model is Hiroshi Yoshida, but also other shin hanga artists like Ota Masamitsu or Natori Shunsen or Hasui.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
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