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Revival moment - Wonderland A



Kobayashi Keisei


1944 –

  • Details

    Alternative title
    Sosei no toki - midorino hoshi -
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    wood engraving
    85.5 x 85.0 cm image; 100.0 x 110.0 cm sheet; 115.5 x 108.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pecnil "Keisei Kobayashi 1991".

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © KOBAYASHI Keisei

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Kobayashi Keisei

    Works in the collection


  • About

    In this print, Kobayashi's sphere cracks apart to reveal a labyrinthine world in which birds, fish, mice, snails and various other insect and plant forms weave through and over man's decaying urban structures.

    Unlike many artists now who praise technology and covet the artificial and unnatural, Kobayashi genuinely seeks a return to nature alone. In commenting on this print he has said that modern civilisation, in going against the laws of nature, reminds him of the conceited creators of the tower of Babel; modern science aims at progress by defying nature but he seeks to follow the provisions of nature. Hence he uses wood to do his printing, reverting to wood-engraving, an unusual medium in modern Japan. As he applies his chisel to the wood, he loses himself in the rings of the boxwood which nature has taken hundreds of years to create, and then his work comes alive. In creating this print Kobayashi used ten blocks, each meticulously carved with his own surreal vision. He does believe however that if one hundred people viewed his print there would be one hundred different ways of appreciating it.

    Kobayashi was born in Kyoto, educated at the International Art Institute there, and now lives in Tokyo.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 57, 60.

  • 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