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Kimura Kosuke: Osaka Poem - a tale (bunraku)

Japan, Showa period, c. 1977


Colour lithograph on paper, 63 x 50 cm, ed. 62/220, signed and titled in pencil Osaka Poem - a tale (bunraku), undated, c. 1977, good condition, old mount burn and some colour cracks in the face of left-hand figure.


The image shows artist Kimura Kosuke’s interpretation of a bunraku scene with the faces of the protagonists in the play.

Bunraku is  a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre, founded in Osaka in 1684. Today bunraku companies, performers and puppet makers have been designated "Living National Treasures" under Japan's program for preserving its culture.


Kimura Kosuke (b. 1936) was born in Osaka and graduated from Kyoto Municipal Art University in 1959 where he studied nihon-ga, traditional Japanese painting. When Japanese modern woodblock prints became popular he made his debut and was soon appraised as a top figure on the international art scene. Kimura is well-known for his combination of silk screen printing and photomontages. In 1968 he began to show his prints at renowned art exhibitions. In 1970 he received the Richard Gainsborough Memorial Award at the second international British Print Biennale. In several following international print biennales he received more prizes for prints and sculptures.

Three of his works from the early the 1970s are in the collection of MoMA, New York.  A similar print from the Bunraku series is at the Chicago Institute of Art.

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