Shape of God, – Waterfall Series of 4 woodcut prints: Ono, Amida, Kannon and Kirifuri
Nearly 100 years before the abstract art movement of America and Europe, Hokusai abstracted Waterfalls into linear forms. They are powerful graphic calibrations of great force, each waterfall captures a different mercurial spirit. It is these ‘Shapes of Gods’ that are the subject of Nana Shiomi’s cycle of four woodcuts.
Shiomi distils Hokusai’s Waterfalls into stand alone icons, emphasising there symbolic importance to art history and the eternal relevance of their beauty and symbolism. A waterfall is a bridge from the other world to this world.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nana Shiomi makes contemporary woodcut prints. After a period of examining Western art, Shiomi moved on to consider her own Japanese culture within her prints. Shiomi makes reference to masterpieces from the Japanese ukiyo-e tradition in her own work. She often employs a stage within the composition of her images to present ideas. Her printing approach can be described technically as a combination of relief/intaglio and water-based woodcut printmaking. It is rooted in the traditional methods of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock, printmaking by hand with a Baren, to which she has added her own experimental printing techniques.
Shiomi’s work is held in public collections including her epic cycle of 100 Prints ‘One Hundred Views Of Mitate’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Royal College of Art Collection; Pallant House Gallery. Chichester; Wimbledon School of Art Collection; Brunel University, Middlesex; Oriental Museum, Durham; Aberystwyth University, Wales; The Johnson Museum, Cornell University Collection, USA; Tama Art University, Tokyo.
Born in Osaka, Japan in 1956, Shiomi studied oil painting and printmaking at the Tama Art University (BA, MA), Tokyo, and in 1989 – 1991 MA Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London. She has been living and working in London since 1989.
Rabley Gallery and Nana Shiomi co-published “This Side and the Other Side, Nana Shiomi Woodcuts 1996 – 2016, a monograph on the artist’s prints is available from the gallery.