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Hymn to beauty

Asian art

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Ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking with Keizaburo Matsuzaki

Master printer Keizaburo Matsuzaki visited the Art Gallery of New South Wales in March 2010 in conjunction with the exhibition Hymn to beauty: the art of Utamaro. He brought the woodblocks to create a print of Takashima Ohisa, the teahouse waitress, designed by Kitagawa Utamaro (1754-1806) in the 1790s. Gallery visitors were amazed to witness Matsuzaki’s deft touch as he applied seventeen colours with perfect alignment. Each colour was rubbed with the printers most precious tool, the baren. The final touch was a dusting of mica. Matsuzaki hails from Arakawa-ku in Tokyo and has been a printer since he was fifteen years old.

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