Yuji Hiratsuka. Life in the Gendai Era
Erarta Museum presented an exhibition by a Japanese artist who uses a special printmaking technique combining chine-collé and intaglio
Yuji Hiratsuka’s solo exhibition Life in the Gendai Era (that is, in the current time) takes the viewer on a journey into the highly original creative world of an artist who belongs to the Western and Eastern cultural realms simultaneously. In a witty and whimsical way, the artist reinvents the traditional ukiyo-e — pictures of the floating world — transplanting the classical Japanese narratives into the contemporary big city life and juxtaposing them against the universal images of the cosmopolitan Western culture.
Yuji Hiratsuka’s preferred medium, printmaking, is one of the lauded achievements of the traditional Japanese art, praised for its immaculate sophistication and refinement. In Hiratsuka’s artworks, intaglio printing is fused with the chine-collé technique which requires a specific type of superfine paper, resulting in particularly delicate prints. The artist declares his preference for traditional printmaking over cutting-edge computer-based technology: “Working with the materials, preparing the plate and printing is what really fascinates me. I am very fond of the very process of calm manual work, of the mystical nature of printmaking”.
Yuji Hiratsuka is a Professor at the Oregon State University College of Liberal Arts in Corvallis, USA. Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1954, he moved to the United States in 1985, and since 2010 has been actively involved in various international projects. The artist’s numerous solo exhibitions took place in the US, Korea, Canada and Northern Ireland. Hiratsuka’s artworks have been acquired for the collections of the British Museum, Tokyo Central Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (the Smithsonian’s Museum of Asian Art), the New York Public Library, and the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow.