Kitaoka was born in Tokyo and was educated at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music where he studied woodblock printing under Un'ichi Hiratsuka ( 1895-?). He is one of the more senior artists in this exhibition. After the Second World War and a stint in Manchuria he furthered his study under Onchi of the 'sosaku hanga' movement, becoming more interested in an art of pure colour and form. From the 1950s Kitaoka travelled and exhibited extensively.
This print is a fine example of his oeuvre, demonstrating his mastery of the traditional woodblock techniques, and his fine sense of colour and pattern. He created this print after visiting an old farmhouse in Takayama where he was moved by the strength and beauty of the wooden ceiling beams, and taken with the traditional structural beauty of the hanger for the kettle hook ('jizai-gake') which was used to hang the perennial iron pot over the open hearth that was the centre of the Japanese rural home.
Kitaoka takes pleasure in contrasting the geometrical structure of the ascending beams with the roughly hewn curve of the kettle hook.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 57.
Hari to rokagi
Place where the work was made
Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
54.0 x 84.0 cm image; 63.0 x 93.0 cm sheet; 73.3 x 103.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Fumio Kitaoka 1991".
Gift of the artist 1993
Not on display
© Estate of KITAOKA Fumio
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
The Urban Bonsai:
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992
- National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992
- Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992
- Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993
- The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993
- Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, Emu Plains 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994
- Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994
- Moree Plains Gallery, Moree 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994
- Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, Murwillumbah 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 55 (colour illus.), 57. cat.no. 30