(Japan 1939 – )
60.0 x 45.0 cm image; 74.0 x 53.0 cm sheet;
Born in Gifu Prefecture, and educated at the Tama University of Art from which he graduated in oil painting in 1962, Funasaka still resides in Tokyo. Since his days as a student when his part-time work in a linoleum store enabled him to acquire trimmings which he used to make linocuts, Funasaka has diligently experimented with diverse print techniques, often mixing several methods in the production of one print.
Funasaka's prints are cool, masterful arrangements of colours and shapes. He carefully defines his colours, balancing their shapes in presentations of rhythm and tension to create a space of his own. His concern with the formal relationships of shapes and spaces is reflected in his titles which are all sequential variations on the theme of 'my space and my dimension'. To obtain dimension and to create shadows and interplay, he uses such disparate devices as collage, applied styrofoam (of varying depths), perforations and embossing. It is the tensions of forms within spaces that is the focus of his work.
Funasaka will often work with a particular 'trademark' for many years. For about two decades from 1957 the focal point of his prints was the soft contours of a lemon in which lemon forms were the only natural ones in an otherwise abstract composition. Now his prints contain only abstract shapes and for some years he has been concerned with the colours and placement of the unmatched vertical poles seen in this print. In a classic Oriental tradition, the dominant white spaces have positive values, constituting the matrix of the composition in which the peripheral corporeal forms are evolved and accentuated.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 28.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 28, 31 (colour illus.). cat.no. 10
The Urban Bonsai: