Gihachiro Okuyama: People in snowscape
Japan, Showa period, c. 1950s
Sumizuri-e woodblock print, 48.2 x 24 cm, undated, c. 1950s, artist stamp and signature in pencil, fine condition, slightly creased at the top.
Gihachiro Okuyama (1907-1981) studied art under Kasaka Gajin and during the difficult economic times of the 1920s made his living creating commercial designs for posters and advertising labels eventually establishing his own advertising company in 1931. At the same time as making a living in this manner he was very active in both the Sosaka Hanga and Shin Hanga Movements.
In 1946 he established the Japan Print Institute – Nihon Hanga Kenkyusho – and he continued to work as a woodblock artist for most of his life. His prints display a fine and creative style and they are among the rarest of Shin Hanga woodblocks to be found today.
Apart from his production of modern prints, Gihachiro was interested in traditional Japanese prints, and produced numerous reproductions of old masters. He also worked on a series of woodblock prints based on European paintings, such as Vincent Van Gogh's wildly known 'Sun Flowers'.