Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Yoshijiro Urushibara: 2 more images from 'Ten Woodcuts'

I have had to add these two further images because I was unable to upload anymore on the last post. So, please just scroll back to the first part.

It's a good opportunity to say a bit more about the nature of the prints. The first one on the previous post is called 'The resting place' and I believe it shows people picnicing by the grave of a family member. I have visited these old Ottoman cemeteries above the Bosphorus - that is Istanbul you can see on the other bank - and it may have reminded Urushibara of Shinto practices at home in Japan. People still pay gardeners to tend the graves like gardens at modern Uskudar.

Another woodcut shows the court of the mosque of memory. I assume this is Cairo as the other one you see here shows the mausoleum at the wonderful mosque of Ibn Tulun., but I have tried in vain to identify the building. But you will now see that there is a drift of meaning, that the prints act in part as commemoration.


This second woodcut is simply called 'Trees' but the title page also indicates that it is Montreuil in the Pas-de-Calais in France. In the distant past, Montreuil was the westernmost town in Flanders, the country of Brangwen's birth. You will also note the way Urushibara depicts different trees - the poplars of Picardy and the cypresses of the shores of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. If you look back at 'Moonlight, Bournemouth', you will also see his depiction of pine trees on the heaths of Dorset. Recurrent images are as much a feature of Japanese art as recurrent artists are with Modern Printmakers.

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