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Koshiro ONCHI (1891~1955)

Onchi was the leading abstract print artist of his time, his 1915 'Lyrique : Enlightening Moment' was the first abstract print by a Japanese artist. His creativity abound, writing, poetry, designer, lettering, photography and he designed over 1,000 books, but it was printing where his fervour found most acclaim. He was a major force of Sosaku Hanga (the Creative Print movement). Artists who bucked the japanese traditions of woodblock production and created, carved and printed their own works.

 

In 1939 he formed his Ichimokukai (First Thursday Club, a word play on Best Wood Club). Meeting every first Thursday of the month at his home, artists would gather and discuss woodblock printing, technique, subject matter and more. Onchi would act as father figure, mentor and occasional benefactor.

 

Yamaguchi Gen and Junichiro Sekino were two of the first artists to join, others followed Masao Maeda, Azechi Umetaro, Shinagawa Takumi, Kioshi Saito all of whom achieved their own success.

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