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Human studies (C)



Tomihari Hiroshi


1936 –

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Hito, hito kô (c)
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    76.7 x 57.0 cm image; 84.0 x 63.5 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pencil "H.Tomihari '91".

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Tomihari Hiroshi

    Works in the collection


  • About

    The artist Hishikawa Moronobu (c.1618-1694) is popularly credited as the founder of the 'ukiyo-e' style. Important as a painter and an illustrator, it was his genius as a figure painter that created the single standing female figure portrayal ('bijin-ga') that served as a symbol of Japanese womanhood in the Edo period (1615-1867). The most famous image of this talented pioneer was a 1690s portrait of a walking girl looking over her shoulder.

    Tomihari has taken this most famous Moronobu image and used it as the central motif of his composition. The image is repeated in varying degrees of clarity, conjuring up ghosts of courtesans past, while images of the modern pin-up equivalent, and the night lights of the pleasure quarters, pulse through the composition.

    Tomihari re-interprets a traditional subject in terms of the sensitivity of modem society. He adheres to the traditional technique of the woodblock from respect for its directness and its long history in Japan. He was one of the early leaders in the more recent revival of woodblock, using only a varied surface of black and white to create his complex, allusive and rhythmic images. In this print various forms share the same contours; by the contours they are related to each other, and the contours could be rhythmically repeated to infinity.

    He was born in Ibaraki Prefecture, educated at Ibaraki University and now lives in Saitama Prefecture.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 96.

  • 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

Other works by Tomihari Hiroshi

See all 6 works