(Japan 1949 – )
60.0 x 45.0 cm image; 74.0 x 53.0 cm sheet; 85.5 x 63.0 cm frame
Now resident in Kanagawa Prefecture, Hamanishi was born in Hokkaido and studied at Tokai University, Tokyo. One of many artists now working with the mezzotint technique, Hamanishi's exceptional technical proficiency produces exemplary images that constitute distillations of sensory experience.
For centuries in Japan, the experience of manipulated nature, epitomised by the unnaturally stylised bonsai, has condensed man's aesthetic response to nature. In his prints Hamanishi develops even further the native Japanese predilection for the unnatural and contrived. In the modern urban environment where a diet of technologically sophisticated images has engendered a heightened visual sensitivity, simulation is the substitute for the real. Hamanishi's images are the modern urban metaphor for bonsai.
Hamanishi pushes his art to the limit, aiming for the absolute minimum of form, and the greatest subtlety of tone. By using the simplest composition - in this case the taut, truncated section of a branch that splits his composition - he seeks to generate enormous tension within his print.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 29.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 29, 34 (colour illus.). cat.no. 11
The Urban Bonsai: