Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Ruined Farm House #4 (Wall #4)
  • Tanaka Ryōhei
    born 1933
    born: Takatsuki City, Osaka prefecture, Japan ; active: Japan, United States
  • Ruined Farm House #4 (Wall #4), 1975, Showa period (1926–1989)
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • etching
  • Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 362 x 356 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 14 1/4 x 14 in
    Mat Dimensions: 25 x 20 in
  • Museum purchase: Lucy Shaw Schultz Fund
  • Not on display
  • 1990.0058
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Japan Re-imagined/Post-war Art," Mar-2008, Kris Ercums
Haunting images of depopulated, ruined villages dominant Tanaka’s oeuvre. Throughout his career, he has chronicled the vanishing remains of rural Japanese life, rendering decayed thatched roofs and crumbling walls with astounding detail that tinges each etching with a hushed sense of longing and a disquieted vision of loss.

Archive Label date unknown:
Tanaka Ryohei uses Western-style etching to record meticulously those elements of the countryside that are vanishing as Japan becomes more industrial and more Western. His subjects are most often farmhouses and thatched roofs. They also include rustic walls, like this one, which is deteriorating from neglect and disrepair. Tanaka lovingly captures the textures of woodgrain, bamboo and crumbling plaster. His prints are quiet and somber, a mood appropriate to the sad loneliness of these abandoned subjects.