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Poor man's banquet



Tsuchiya Masao


1913 – 2008

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Kobore-mono no utage
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    kappa stencil and silkscreen
    80.0 x 55.0 cm image; 90.0 x 60.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., in Japanese, pencil "Tsuchiya Masao" [and artist's seal]. Not dated.

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Tsuchiya Masao

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Folk art is distinguished by its rough immediacy and directions. Whereas folk art, in the form of prints, ceramics and various other utilitarian objects, had existed for centuries, it was Yanagi Soetsu (1889- 1961) who articulated its aesthetic parameters and defined it as a movement that developed an international following.

    In this print Tsuchiya depicts two paupers drinking from a simple wine flask, against a blank background. All elements extraneous to their enjoyment of their wine have been eliminated. Tsuchiya has chosen to give his figures the masks of characters in a Kyogen play, a form of theatre used as the comic interlude in a Noh performance. He thus depersonalises their enjoyment, moving from the specific to the general. His point is that the unfortunate enjoy life despite their hardships - in fact they can get more pleasure from life than those who might have more.

    Tsuchiya was born in Tokyo and still lives there. Like Akiyama (Acc.no. 405.1993) he too had studied under Munakata Shiko, the master of strong black and white figurative folk images.

    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, Moree Plains Gallery, 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