Here’s wishing you all a year of fun and frolicks!
I love the double chance at a New Year. Fresh starts, shiny behaviour, aspirational goals… This year 2014 started with a celebration in Japan, one of the places I feel most at home, where I spent a few weeks seeing friends, making prints and reconnecting with the country.
Of course no national holiday would be complete without a spot of shopping, hanging out with friends and eating fun things…
I had a chance to visit a few artists when I was in Tokyo: firstly Asaka Motoharu who is a traditional Japanese woodblock carver who has been working for over 40 years without (he claims) making a single mistake… Here is one of Masami Teraoka’s prints ( a riff on Hokusai’s Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife) that he carved and printed.
Traditional tool shops still exist: this one specialises in knives and woodblock tools
Arts Space Chiyoda is a maze of galleries, residency spaces and craft outlets in a converted primary school; this is where the Mokuhanga innovation laboratory has its headquarters. I was so happy to see the work of one of my students, Mareike Besch, on the walls there!
After a night bus ride to Kyoto I was shocked at the cold temperatures, but the river view was the same as I remembered, bright and full of eagles.
The annual coming of age ceremony was on so I got the chance to see the kids in their finery
and my old university: Kyoto Seika: where woodblock is still going strong
enjoying the gorgeous landscape
and last but not least….. admiring the loos…