(Japan 1927– )
78.0 x 53.0cm image; 88.0 x 60.0cm sheet
Born in Manchuria, and educated at Bunka Gakuin College, Iwami now lives in Kanagawa Prefecture near the sea which is the subject of most of her prints. Her commitment to prints developed after she discovered the work of the great 'sosaku hanga' artist Onchi Koshiro (1891-1955), and studied under his student Sekino Jun'ichiro (b. 1914).
Iwami avoids the use of colour and the majority of her prints are produced in shades of black, grey and white, with goldleaf accents, and embossing. All her prints incorporate the use of natural driftwood, an effect which, allied with her use of goldleaf and embossing, emphasises the texture of the print. She combines her varied elements into refined compositions that echo her joy at living by the sea between heaven and earth, and express in their fluidity her belief that music and water are one.
While the driftwood pattern in this print is a novel device suggestive of ocean currents, the style of the waves is very traditional, reminiscent of ancient designs on folding screens, textiles and lacquer. The butterfly motif is also an ancient one in both China and Japan. Its use as a symbol of summer and emblem of joy can be traced back to the writings of the famous Daoist philosopher Chuangzi (329?-286?BC), and has been a continually popular decorative motif in Chinese and Japanese art ever since. Iwami's belief that contemporary Japan is a continuation of its history is perfectly exemplified in the synthesis found in her own refined and decorative work.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 36, 53.
Jackie Menzies (Australia) (Author), Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 36, 46 (colour illus.), 53. cat.no. 22
The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992.
The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993.
The Urban Bonsai, Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, The Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Moree Plains Gallery, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994.
The Urban Bonsai, Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995.