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Summer Festival Lanterns

Date: 1992, later edition from original wood blocks, pencil signed by the artist's hand in the print
Size: approx. 8.675 x 17.675"
Condition: Fine, no flaws; uncirculated condition
Impression: Fine, deep saturated color on fine washi
Color: Fine, excellent penetration and saturation, nice bleed through
Documentation: Kyoto Romance, 1992, Kato with Liane Grunberg; published by Unsodo, illustrated on page 57

TERUHIDE KATO was formerly one of Japan's leading kimono designers. He closed down his atelier in 1987 and turned to a dream he had kept alive since his student days at Kyoto Art College. This passion was to take up the tradition of the woodblock print and capture scenes from his beloved Kyoto. A catalog of his work Kyoto Romance was released in 1991 following his international debut in New York. His images recall the classic woodblock prints of the 19th century. However, his style is clean and current bringing to mind the best of contemporary Japanese design.

Kato's images are done in the traditional woodblock print manner. Each color is laid down with a separate wood block in a time consuming and exacting process. In many of Kato's subjects, the artist has added a significant amount of hand painting. Look for the added hand details on the surface of the prints. This combination of media adds to the striking contemporary feel of these piece.

ABOUT GION MATSURI (Kyoto Summer Festival)

Gion Matsuri is the main festival of Kyoto, celebrated by hanging lanterns with family crests outside the houses.

Gion Matsuri is an annual festival of Yasaka Jinja (Gion is an old name of this shrine), and it is one of the three biggest local festivals in Japan. The other two are Kondo Matsuri of Tokyo and Tenjin Matsuri of Osaka. But among these, Gion Matsuri is the most famous because of its heady atmosphere and long history, reproduced on a grand scale. The festival is held from the 1st to the 31st of July and consists of various major and minor events. However, the highlight of the celebration takes place on the 17th, when 31 colorful floats (Yamaboko in Japanese) forming a long procession are pulled through the main streets of the city. The floats are decorated with many time-honored treasures and ornaments which distinguish each float.

It is said that the summer of Kyoto begins with the Gion Matsuri. The citizens of Kyoto do not feel that summer has arrived until this festival is held. Thus, the event is filled with delightful expectations.


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