(Japan 1897 – 1946)
22.5 x 30.0 cm image; 25.9 x 33.0 cm mount
Taninaka was one of the most talented and original print artists in modern Japan whose work focused on urban life. Taninaka stands out among his peers for his originality and uninhibited imagination. In this print Taninaka depicts Ôkawabata, a part of the Sumida River in Tokyo and a popular picnic and entertainment destination since the Edo period, disturbingly deserted. The atmosphere of disquiet would be even more intense and perturbing for a Japanese viewer for whom Ôkawabata would resonate with pleasurable associations of crowded days of merriment. (Art Gallery Handbook, 1999, p. 284).
This series of prints is a unique set of prints in two ways: at least thirty contemporary artists collaborated in a single series of landscape prints, depicting both famous places & scenery of modern urban life. This series is a product of the Creative Print Movement, a modern movement in printmaking which began early in the 20th century by artists who designed, blockcut & printed their own work with a clear intention of creating works of art as opposed to `surimono', reproductions. Due to the intensification of WWII, publication of the series was stopped by the Japanese authorities who feared that the interior of Japan would become known to its enemies.
AJIOKA, Hanga: Japanese creative prints, '1930s-1950s: Consolidation of Hanga and the individualists', pg. 70-98, Sydney, 2000, 87 (colour illus.), 104, 109-110. cat.no. 4.9x
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 284 (colour illus.).
Hanga: Japanese creative prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Oct 2000–07 Jan 2001