take off … (Green)

Jury Award

toru tohiguchi
take off … (Green)
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Review: Keisei KOBAYASHI (Artist) “Bravo for playfulness”

Contemporary print expression has two trends; these are “HANGA” and “print art”.

Printmakers adhere to styles of self-portraiture and engraving established since the advent of creative printmaking while wielding new techniques, which have been cultivated, and personal skills that they have honed. For them, the printing material is not some static element; it is an irreplaceable accomplice in their work.

Print art emphasizes concept-making and uses print to validate its conceptual worlds. Modern technologies, such as screen-printing and digital printing, are employed in this trend.

My choice of Toru TOHIGUCHI's work “take off ... (Green)” is the very embodiment of print art. Print layers are laid upon one another (more than 30 times) to create layers of color bounded by lines, producing forms that take on a unique reality. At the same time, the work good-naturedly eschews the intense iconography that printing layer upon layer conveys in favor of a fun “playfulness”. When we try to figure out what message the artist has incorporated into his work, we are already playing into his hands...

This piece says “Bravo for playfulness!!” as if to gently kid those who would overthink the piece and try to find some deep meaning that it might convey.