Poor man's banquet
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.
Kobore-mono no utage
Place where the work was made
Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
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
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
The Urban Bonsai:
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992
- National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992
- Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992
- Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993
- The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993
- Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994
- Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994
- Moree Plains Gallery, Moree 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994
- Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 96, 106 (colour illus.). cat.no. 66