© Yasu Shibata
© Yasu Shibata

Yasu Shibata: Japanese Woodcuts at Foundry Vineyards

Walla Walla, WA – Foundry Vineyards is honored to announce its new art exhibition featuring Master Printer Yasu Shibata and Master Calligrapher Yoshiyasu Fujii. The opening reception will be held Sunday, June 26th, 2016 from 5 p.m. – 7p.m. Master Printer Yasu Shibata received his BFA from Kyoto Sika University before moving to the United States in 1991. In the U.S., he began his printing career at Tyler Graphics working for artists such as Frank Stella, David Salle and Helen Frakenthaler.

Currently, Shibata works at the print publisher Pace Editions in New York where he prints exclusively using Mokuhanga techniques to create editions for artists such as Chuck Close and James Siena. Shibata’s own artwork utilizes both reduction style techniques and Japanese woodcut methods to create multiple layers of pigment that results in vibrant colors exhibited through variations of simple shapes.

Master Calligrapher Yoshiyasu Fujii’s lifelong passion for calligraphy began at the age of five and continued onto his college career where he attended Daito Bunka University to study under Master Calligrapher Shumpo Akashi. From there, he continued to receive many awards, including the 1990 and 1992 top award at the Mainichi Calligraphy Competition, one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious calligraphy competitions. Fujii was also awarded the only U.S. license for calligraphy instruction by the Japanese Ministry of Education. He has used his talents to promote the unique art form of calligraphy in the U.S., through schools and programs held in Seattle, Portland, California and on the Japanese island of Kyushu.

This exhibition is funded by the Anderson Foundation for the Arts and coordinated through the Whitman Mokuhanga Center. The Whitman Mokuhanga Center was founded in 2015 by Keiko Hara and Akira R. Takemoto as a way to promote and explore the Mokuhanga printing method and Japanese culture through workshops, demonstrations, and community events.