Ryosaku Kotaka

This work explores elements of line and balance. The levels in density and the beauty of colour achieved in the layered blue ink centre strikingly contrast to the darker background. Beautifully achieved, the composition shows a folded effect, as if the blue appears to fold out from the grey. This delicate result suggests the use of water, as if it clearly could not have been done without.

The Suminagashi works by Japanese artist Ryosaku Kotaka combine ancient Chinese and Japanese painting philosophy with imaginative contemporary. Suminagashi, (pronounced, ‘sue-me-NAH-gah-she’) is the name given to the ancient Japanese technique of decorating paper with ink.

Suminagashi is a technique which was practiced in Japan as early as the 12th century and literally translated means ‘ink-floating,’. The process is as follows: ink is carefully dropped on to still water and blown across the surface to create delicate patterns. Once finished, paper is lowered onto the water’s surface and absorbs the ink.

Kotaka produces his work upon ‘Washi’ (Japanese paper) made by himself. By beginning with collecting Kozo, (Mulberry wood), stripping and draining its fibers, to drying and pressing them, he produces a thin tissue paper able to accurately absorb ink from the water’s surface .

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Ryosaku Kotaka

Works - Biography


38.00 x 124.00 cm