Eching, Aquatint and Chine Collé
Hiratsuka Yuji’s colorful, whimsical prints depict people from all walks of life in animated and contemplative moments that make us pause to consider what is really happening in the picture time and time again. He writes:
“Although my artwork is mainly considered representational, I deal with more metaphorical aspects rather than realistic physical evidence. The human body along with other elements: garments, fruit, vegetables, furniture, animals, etc. have been my focus. The images bear a slight resemblance to traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, but also express contemporary aspects of the Western Hemisphere.
There are small transitions in my work from time to time, and my interest is always based on unpredictable texture that is printed from the etched surface of the copper plate. My prints explore the complex relationship of paper, ink and etched plates to describe my thought, as well as the relationship which occurs between figures and space to express other human experiences. Always I try to investigate the maximum potential available to me as a printmaker.
The Figure: transcribing the human form
The enigmatic figures I draw are reflections of human conditions such as; wry, satire, whimsy, irony, paradox or the mismatches that happen often in people’s daily lives. My figures also employ a state of motion or movement suggesting an actor/actress who narrates a story in a play. The images in my intaglio prints in this exhibit are little figurines in action. They are cheerful, joyous and restless. They are all happy people.”
The artist’s technique is extremely demanding, involving etching, dry point, aquatint, soft ground and roulette on a copper plate. Working on extremely thin Japanese paper, he uses relief printing to texture his work from the front and back, also using tools such as emery paper to enhance the lighter areas. The paper is then inset into a stronger Western art paper as it is run through a small press. On page two of this bio, the artist describes his technique.
Yujj has exhibited widely in the US and Japan, as well as in the UK, Germany, Spain, Poland, the former Yugoslavia, Finland, China and Canada.
He has an MFA in Printmaking from Indiana University, Bloomington (1980), a BS I Art Education from Tokyo Gakugei University, Tokyo, and has been engaged in his other passion, teaching print making, at Oregon State University since 1992.
- Tokyo Central Museum
- British Museum
- Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
- Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts – Fine Art Museums of San Francisco
- The Print Club, Philiadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Cheney Cowles Museum, Spokane, Washington.
- Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio
- Panstwowe Museum Mamajdanku, Lublin, Poland
- Jundt Art Museum, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
- Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
- University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
- University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Kenosha, Wisconsin.
- Norwalk Community – Technical College, Norwalk, Connecticut
- Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas
- Harper College, Palantine, Illinois
- Western Illinois University, Malcomb, Illinois
- Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey
- Kaiser Permanente, Denver
- Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri
- Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland, OR
A Statement By the Artist On his Technique
“My personal technique using Chine Collé with traditional and innovative etching is the following:
With continuous alterations to a copper plate I print a sequence of black, yellow, red and blue, passing the same plate through the press for each design and color change.
To start with; the first tones to the plate are given with line-etching, drypoint, aquatint, softground, photocopy transfer or roulette. I pull my first color. With these first impressions, I work back into the plate with a scraper, burnisher, and emery paper to enhance the lights and accent the motif. I then go on to the second, third and fourth colors. Finally, the print is completed from the back with a relief process of woodcut or linocut to intensify shapes and/or colors.
I print on the paper that best suits my work; this is a thin Japanese paper known as Owara Mulberry. As in the French use of Chine Collé, I apply glue to the back of the Mulberry print and pass it through the press, with a heavier rag paper (BFK Reves or Somerset, etc.) beneath. What the viewer sees is my four color intaglio print saturated with subtle tones that come through the back of Owara Mulberry paper which is set deep into a rag paper.”
Other Artists in The Reingold Gallery Collection
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