Breaking away from traditional Japanese
printmaking form, Kamesuke Hiraga
was just a teenager when he left Shima to study
painting at the San Francisco
in 1906. Later moving to Paris,
Hiraga studied printmaking at the Ecole
des Beaux-Arts where, in 1915, he became the first Japanese student to win the
Spending much of his life in both Europe and America, Hiraga
made use of his undeniable talent for painting and printmaking to demonstrate
his fascination with the people and the landscapes of his travels. Yet, despite
his foreign training, there is something of his own rich heritage of
printmaking that shines through in Hiraga’s
unique approach to soft ground etching.
Combinations of mastery and personal style
are what make certain artists highly collectable long after their time. Still
popular in France, Hiraga’s work hangs in the famous Georges Pompidou
Centre in Paris.
Not forgotten at home, his work is featured in the Bridgestone Museum of Art,
Japan. And, as recently as 2006, to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Kamesuke Hiraga’s journey
to America, his paintings
and prints were displayed at a special exhibition at Jingu Chokokan Museum, Ise.