Visiting Tokyo artist Yoshisuke Funasaka and Kalamazoo artist Mary Brodbeck will speak about Cross Currents: East/West, their joint woodblock print exhibition showing at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center from May 12 to July 28. The artists will offer insights into Japanese art, culture, and cross-cultural exchange.
Japanese woodblock prints are characteristically spatially flat, graphic, and colorful — as Funasaka’s modern abstractions are in this exhibition. Brodbeck’s prints are perhaps a combination of East and West with the landscape as a traditional Japanese subject matter, yet portrayed with a Western eye using layers of dark on light to create form and distance. Brodbeck studied woodblock printmaking in Tokyo with Funasaka during a five-month fellowship from the Japanese government 25 years ago. This is the latest of several exhibitions they have had together since, featuring both artists’ use of the historic 17th-century Japanese woodblock technique.