(Japan 1931 – )
30.0 x 36.0 cm image; 43.5 x 52.0 cm sheet
Saito is a master at manipulating the sensuous subtle tones obtainable with the European mezzotint technique. It is only in the recent post-war decades that mezzotint has flowered as an artistic medium in Japan. Its pioneers were Hasegawa Kiyoshi (1891-1980) and Hamaguchi Yozo (born 1909), both of whom studied in France in their search to revive mezzotint techniques, and who have achieved international recognition for their technical virtuosity in the use of mezzotint. Today Saito is acknowledged, with Hamaguchi, as the most accomplished technician in mezzotint working in Japan. Now living in Kanagawa Prefecture where he was born, Saito was educated at the Academy 46 Art Institute.
In this small rich gem of a print, Saito expressively explores the medium of colour mezzotint to capture the quietude of red sails drifting rhythmically on a still sea at sunset. This is a more unusual subject for Saito who is perhaps better known for his studies of women, beautifully dressed in traditional kimono.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 68.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 68, 79 (colour illus.). cat. no. 47
The Urban Bonsai: