Ido Masao. born 1945, is a very succesful, contemporary Japanese printmaker. His success formula is simple and powerful. He combines the old traditional Japanese woodblock technique with Japanese sterotype subjects like Japanese gardens, romantic views of famous Japanese landmarks, images from the Japanese Bunraku theater or old Japanese villages.
Art friends who are a bit knowledgeable with Japanese prints, may immediately be reminded of the shin hanga art movement of the first half of the century. The similarity is not so much about in style but in the selection of subjects.
Ido Masao shows his viewers a kind of Disneyland Japan that is hard to find in today's industrialized Japan. It is the same concept that the shin hanga artists applied under guidance by Watanabe Shozaburo. And like the shin hanga artists, Ido Masao is successful.
And for heaven's sake, what is wrong when artists make beautiful art works that people like. Nothing wrong in my view - as long as the art works are well made. And Ido Masao's woodblock prints are beautiful, fine works of art.
Ido Masao was born in 1945 in Manchuria. The artist studied in Kyoto, a city with a long tradition as a center for arts and artisan products. Kyoto is renowned for its excellent art training facilities since the 19th century. And Masao Ido has become a typical Kyoto artist, making art for the people based on excellent craftsmanship.
The artist is also known as a teacher to Seiji Sano, another successful Japanese woodblock printmaker.
Author: Dieter Wanczura