Laing Art Gallery
Katsutoshi Yuasa (b.1978) lives and works in Tokyo. Yuasa studied MA Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London, and is now an instructor at MI-LAB, located at the foot of Mount Fuji. In 2015, he was involved in the 5th Guanlan International Print Biennial and the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and has most recently hosted a solo exhibition entitled All is Vanity (2015) at Artify Gallery in Hong Kong.
Yuasa uses his own photography or media images in combination with Japanese woodblock printing methods to produce strikingly beautiful artworks. His work is an intriguing amalgamation of the contemporary and the traditional that achieves both fine aesthetic quality and poignant meaning.
The artist’s approach of taking the immediacy of photographic image capture and then applying time and labour-intensive techniques to its presentation leads the viewer to appreciate each medium in a new way. Yuasa is involved in the physical making process at each stage, unlike previous masters of the woodblock tradition and, through the intimacy of this process, he further builds upon his existing connections to the subject of the work.
In Pseudo Mythology #2 (2011), Yuasa takes media images of an underwater volcano
and expands them to a large scale. His inspiration for the work draws on his feeling of dislocation when living overseas and seeing Japan from a distanced perspective.
The intricacy of the work and his discerning commitment to the refined technique of his craft is striking to behold.
The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne holds the largest collection of
Japanese art in the UK. Pseudo Mythology #2 was first exhibited there as part of the 2011 International Print Bienniale and has huge scope for exhibition alongside the historical collections. While progressive and contemporary, the work draws great inspiration from Japanese traditions of the past, as reflected in the gallery’s collections.
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2015