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If you happen to have some old catalogs from the 1970s or 1980s, published by Yoseido in Tokyo - a forerunner and leading gallery for contemporary Japanese prints - you will encounter etchings and mezzotints by Koichi Sakamoto in nearly every issue. Today Koichi Sakamoto is something like a classical milestone in modern Japanese printmaking - an "Oldie and truly Goodie".
First Publication: October 2004
Latest Update: May 2013
Koichi Sakamoto was born in Tochigi prefecture in 1932. His early works show the artist's interest for natural shapes. The affection for subjects taken from nature like birds, trees, farm houses are a kind of trade mark for the artist's creations through his whole life.
But although he perfectly masters the techniques and tools of drawing and printmaking, he does not strive for realistic depictions. His subjects are transferred into a non-existing world, sometimes surrealistic and sometimes even a bit psychedelic.
The artist's prints are to a certain degree also a reflection of the changing art and fashion trends of the sixties, seventies and eighties. But Sakamoto remained always himself. He has never tried to run after trendy styles. Rather he set the style and path for the next generation of artists.
Koichi Sakamoto's later works are concentrated more on the depiction of dreamy, unreal, rural Japanese landscapes - old farmhouses, leafless trees in winter, the moon, a few black crows in the sky and often snow - loads of snow. One should know that the winters in the North of Japan are very harsh and cold, and bring plenty of snow with them.
We have never seen any landscape prints by Sakamoto that show people. The great shin hanga artist Hasui Kawase was a master in creating moods in his prints by showing often only one lonely person with an umbrella walking in the snow or in rain. Koichi Sakamoto shows no people at all and creates a mood of eeriness. Nevertheless the images do not look frightening. You rather look at them and feel a certain magic of being transformed into another strange world. There is definitely something magic about the image compositions of Koichi Sakamoto.
Koichi Sakamoto works in the techniques of etching and mezzotint. The usual edition size that we know of is from 50 to 100. And all prints that we have seen so far, were signed and numbered by the artist the usual way - in pencil. You find both black/white and prints in colors.
Sakamoto has exhibited widely in and outside of Japan since the late 1950s.
66 sold object(s) by Koichi Sakamoto born 1932 in our Art Archive
3 signature(s) by Koichi Sakamoto in our Signature Database
Author: Dieter Wanczura
.. more about Dieter Wanczura
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