Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Memories of the East
  • Hagiwara Hideo
    born: Kofu, Japan ; active: Japan
  • Memories of the East, 1983, Showa period (1926–1989)
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • color woodcut
  • Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 279 x 429 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 11 x 16 7/8 in
    Mat Dimensions: 20 x 25 in
  • Museum purchase: Lucy Shaw Schultz Fund
  • Not on display
  • 1990.0065
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Japan Re-imagined/Post-war Art," Mar-2008, Kris Ercums
Abstract printmaking, which was largely banned by the military government during World War II, experienced a rebirth in the 1950s and 60s. This revival signaled a
profound shift away from the sentimental realism of shin hanga (new prints)—a continuation of the traditional collaboration between publisher and printmaker—to
sosaku hanga (creative print), which emphasized the artist as sole creator of expressionistic works. Patronage of creative prints by American military, which helped
boost the post-war art economy, was also perceived as an outgrowth of developmental democracy in Japan.

Archive Label date unknown:
Hagiwara began making prints in a figurative style in the late 1940s, but by the end of the next decade, his work had become abstract. This essentially abstract image depends on a layering of gray pigments to suggest the tactile qualities of wood, perhaps the weathered planks of a temple veranda. The ensō (Zen circle) is an enigmatic symbol that inspires a multitude of Buddhist associations.