The World Between the Block and the Paper
Exhibition on view: December 11, 2021 – March 27, 2022

A Mokuhanga Exhibition of Artists and Teachers presented by the Southern Vermont Arts Center and the Mokuhanga Sisters

In memory of Keiko Kadota and Tetsuo Soyama, our mentors who inspired us to devote our art practices to Mokuhanga.

The Mokuhanga Sisters, a print collective, met at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory, in the shadow of Mt Fuji, Japan, and bonded through their practice of mokuhanga.

Mokuhanga, literally meaning “wood print” in Japanese, is a process of printing that originated in China and was developed into a popular art form in Edo Period, Japan (1603-1867). The images of this time, known as ukiyo-e, captured the interest of European artists in the 1800s, and, since that time, mokuhanga processes have been dancing between both Asian and European traditions and is now gaining popularity among international artists.

Because it is time-consuming to produce, the practice of mokuhanga develops the intimacy between the artist and the print, revealing the poetry and soul of the artist at every step of the process. The artist will gauge by “feel” the depth of the carving, the dampness of the paper, the ratio of rice glue to pigment, the pressure placed on the baren (tool for rubbing). The artist is paying attention all the time to the senses, particularly to the sense of touch. Mokuhanga prints are produced in harmony with nature and do not leave a negative impact on the environment.

In this exhibition, the Mokuhanga Sisters invited teachers and friends to demonstrate the versatility of this ecologically-sound medium. Although it is possible to create a print after a one-day workshop, mastering this art form takes many hours of practice. In that way, everyone who practices mokuhanga has needed at least one teacher.

The World Between the Block and the Paper will be on view in Yester House simultaneously with Hiroshige and the Changing Japanese Landscape in the Wilson Museum. We invite the viewer to notice the techniques in both exhibitions and to compare how the tradition of mokuhanga has continued as well as how it has been updated. The goal is to create a conversation around this medium and to realize its full potential for artistic expression by dialoguing with its history.

Exhibiting Artists:
Katie Baldwin invites Chihiro Taki
Patty Hudak invites Louise Rouse
Mariko Jesse invites Hidehiko Gotou
Kate MacDonagh invites Katsutoshi Yuasa
Yoonmi Nam invites Matthew Willie Garcia
Mia O invites Terry McKenna
Lucy May Schofield invites Ayao Shiokawa
Melissa Schulenberg invites Brendan Reilly

Our teachers:
Hidehiko Gotou
Kyoko Hirai

Shoichi Kitamura
Tetsuo and Toshio Soyama

Our community:
Annie Bissett
Sarah Hulsey

Jennifer Mack-Watkins
Florence Neal
April Vollmer

Image: Kate MacDonagh, “Somewhere in between”

December 11 at 10:00am — March 27 at 5:00pm
10:00 am — 5:00 pm (2551h)