Waking Bulbs of the Sōsaku-hanga surveys seven artists from the Japanese woodblock print movement, the Sōsaku-hanga. Beginning with Yamamoto Kanae in 1904, the movement was founded on two basic principles: freedom of creativity and self expression, along with complete artistic autonomy under the roof of the woodblock print medium. Its very essence championed the investigation of the self within the framework of a practice ingrained in Japanese identity. The artists included here are bound by their strong individual voices, and fused by the movements collective spirit of independence and experimentation.
The exhibition features three prominent female Sōsaku-hanga artists: Iwami Reika, Minami Keiko, and Yoshida Chizuko, all of whom belonged to the progressive association of nine female printmakers, the Joryu Hanga Kyokai, formed in 1957. Additionally included are: Akiyama Iwao, Azechi Umetarô, Itow Takumi and one of the leaders of the Sōsaku-hanga from its second generation, Hiratsuka Un’ichi. Multiple works are included by Azechi Umetarô, who was mentored by both Hiratsuka Un’ichi and Onchi Koshiro. Waking Bulbs of the Sōsaku-hanga comprises many works by Itow Takumi, who is still actively making work in Tokyo today. Much of these included works are presented for the very first time in New York City.
Belli Gallery is the exhibition vehicle for art dealer and nomadic gallerist Jonathan Belli. This is the second collaboration with Belli and furniture designer Will Kavesh, his partner Nicole Cornell and their company Token. Token’s workshop and gallery space are located in the historic Beard and Robinson Stores built in the 1860’s along the Hudson River in Red Hook Brooklyn, NY.