南画風景 (Landscape in Nanga Style)

Designer: Imoto Tekiho | Printer: Rei

Paper size: 16cm by 9.5cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 40.00£ 32.25€ 36.75

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Description: This peaceful scene is one of a number of similar designs created for the Doi Hanga Company in the immediate pre-war period by designer Imoto Tekiho. And in that short sentence we cover pretty much all that is known about this print!

Tekiho was a painter working in the Nanga ('Southern Painting') style - 'southern' here referring to a region of China. The Nanga school of painting arose in Japan in the late Edo period, and devoted itself to primarily monochrome renderings of imaginary landscapes. The artists considered themselves intellectuals, and were more interested in attempting to create landscapes that embodied their stylistic conventions of what the elements (mountains, bamboo, etc.) should look like, rather than simply realistically drawing them.

We have made our version of this print using a set of blocks preserved in the archive of the Doi Hanga Company. Whenever the carvers here at Mokuhankan get a chance to inspect such a block set, we eagerly study it as closely as possible, and we are always surprised at the level of delicacy of the work. This is not simply a matter of how finely the lines are carved, because we too are capable of cutting such lines; it's more the overall feeling one gets from holding a block made from such a high-quality piece of wood, by an (unknown) carver of long experience, working at speed and yet with tremendous confidence. It's a masterclass for us to see and hold these woodblocks, and we hope that our own new editions from them can honour the skills of the old craftsmen.

I hope I haven't stressed our young printers too much by writing that! Please enjoy this quietly beautiful little print ...

Dave Bull Mokuhankan

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