(Japan 1946 – )
38.7 x 25.0 cm
Born into a family of painters, Kôkei spent brief years as an office worker before he began making woodblock prints of kabuki actors in 1978. He taught himself all the necessary printmaking skills with the motto of 'self-learning, self-creating, self-executing'. The extent of his technical skill is evident in his use of ultra-sheer 'ganpi paper', which retains the intensity of the ink but is difficult to work with. All Kôkei's prints depict kabuki actors and he is the official artist of a kabuki theatre. Most of his prints employ the traditional format - 'okubi-e' or 'large head picture'- in which the tension and emotion of the figure are captured by exaggerated facial expressions and hand gestures.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 285.
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 285 (colour illus.0.
Jackie Menzies, The Floating World: Japan's world of transient pleasures, Sydney, 1994. cat.no. K4
Editor Unknown, Reflections: Contemporary Japanese Prints, Newcastle, 1993, [colour illus.]. catalogue no. 11
Japanese prints of the 20th century, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Jun 1990–12 Aug 1990
Reflections: Japanese prints from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, 02 Jul 1993–08 Aug 1993
The Floating World: Japan's World of transient pleasures, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 May 1994–17 Jul 1994
Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994