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Itō Handoku


1948 –

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Uta gojû-go
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    woodcut and screenprint
    42.0 x 86.0 cm image; 48.0 x 93.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pencil "(illeg.) 90".

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Itō Handoku

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Ito was born in Shizuoka Prefecture, educated at the Tokyo University of Art and Design, and now resides in Chiba Prefecture. The word 'uta' means a poem, an ode or a song, and Ito has been working on this serially numbered theme for a while. Although in this series he is exploring the 'twists and turns' of his own mind, a print such as this unwittingly serves as an apt expression of the urban bonsai. For Ito the bonsai is the condensed expression of Japanese spiritual culture. His prints presuppose the discipline and technical mastery that precedes spiritual understanding in all Japanese arts, whether calligraphy, flower arranging or swordsmanship.

    Appropriate to a modern world in which artificial materials have usurped the natural, Ito's smooth metallic-type bars with the keenness of sword blades, have the contrived placement of a bonsai in its pot. As with other artists, Ito celebrates the artificial, the simulated and the urban environment replete with its man-made materials. As in traditional ikebana, and in modern sculpture, architecture and urban planning, the space, or interval (in Japanese 'ma') is an important element in his composition.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 36.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Bank Art Museum Moree, Moree, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication