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Shiraga Kazuo

Portfolio 1990

Shiraga Kazuo

Shiraga Kazuo

Portfolio 1990

Portfolio 1990

Shiraga Kazuo

1924 - 2008

Portfolio 1990

The complete portfolio, comprising seven screenprints in colours, 1990, each signed in pencil, numbered 1/60 (total edition includes 20 artist's proofs), accompanied by the justification page, published by Hoshida Graphics, Japan, on BFK Rives wove paper, loose (as issued), contained in the cloth-covered portfolio case

each sheet: approx. 1007 by 785mm 39⅝ by 30⅞in

portfolio case: 1021 by 798 by 41mm 40¼ by 31½ by 1⅝in

The portfolio is in good condition, some sheets with occasional faint surface soiling in the margins. (The portfolio is accompanied by seven frames).

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Kazuo Shiraga and Gallery Kasahara, Japan

Kazuo Shiraga


Printmaking was something I had never been involved with until 1988. More than a decade ago, the owner of Gallery Kasahara took me to a printing studio in Nara. In printmaking, the artist draws onto a thick stone slab with a special black ink, and then the drawing is proofed and printed. All these processes seemed like hard and intensive work as the artist has to draw onto the slabs with precision, making sure all layers of the print match. Once I understood the implication of these laborious tasks in the process of printmaking, I realised this medium was not for me.


From that point onwards, I gave up on printing. As mentioned previously, it was not until 1988 that I created my first print, an official poster for the Seoul Olympics at Hoshida Printmaking Studio in Kyoto. Mr. Lloyd Shin, a Korean gallerist based in United States, took the role of planning and executing the creation of these Olympic posters. Artists from major countries around the world were selected to create prints that would be used as the original images for posters, and I was chosen to represent Japan in this big role.


Not long after this decision was made, Mr. Lloyd Shin came to Japan and I had a meeting with him. As I listened to him, I resonated with the significance of printmaking and decided to undertake the project. Shortly before this encounter, I had been asked by the Hoshida Printmaking Studio to create some prints, so I agreed to do so, and after much effort, I produced two works. One of them, "The Passionate Winner," was chosen as the original for the poster, which was printed at the Hoshida Printmaking Studio and sent to Korea. I was then able to participate in the sports festival of the century.


However, while making this print, I had no idea what to do first, and I did struggle to even make a start. However, I suddenly realised that I could just use my usual method of making oil paintings. My painting method is automatic - without thinking too much about the process, I could just let my mind go blank, paint more and more, and print more and more. I thought about interesting shapes and colour tones, and they would come naturally to me. I became confident with my printing practice and way of working and created this series of seven prints. I painted with a variety of materials, including a large, thick, bristly Sanba-deer-hair brush, palm brushes, and rags, to create various touches, blotches, and splashes. I hope that the viewers will be moved by the powerful screen that unites them all. The Hoshida Printmaking Studio also devised a new way of printing that had never been done before. They took great pains to make the print thicker and thicker by printing over and over, to create a raised surface, and to create dry and glossy areas by using different qualities of ink.


I think of this series as a drama created by mind and matière. I finally got to execute this series at Kasahara Gallery, of Mr. Kasahara, who was the first person to advise me to get into printmaking. This was not a mere coincidence.