Bold printmakers from Japan showcased in ‘Redefining the Multiple’

Koichi Kiyono's "Cultivation II," etching on cotton-wool and felt with hand sewing, appears in the Museum of Art exhibition "Redefining The Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers."

Koichi Kiyono’s “Cultivation II,” etching on cotton-wool and felt with hand sewing, appears in the Museum of Art exhibition “Redefining The Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers.”

Prints by Japanese artists known for pushing the boundaries of printmaking media will be exhibited this fall at the Bates College Museum of Art.

Opening Sept. 13 and showing through Dec. 14 is the exhibition Redefining The Multiple: 13 Japanese Printmakers. Showing through the same period is Selections from Berenice Abbott’s “Portrait of Maine.

Hideki Kimura, whose work is represented in Redefining the Multiple and who co-curated it with Sam Yates, director of the University of Tennessee’s Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, where the show originated, discusses the exhibition at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in the museum. A reception follows.

The exhibitions mark the reopening of the Bates College Museum of Art following a summer spent installing a new, state-of-the-art LED lighting system designed to both reduce the museum’s environmental footprint and improve the museum viewing experience for visitors.

The museum is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and until 7 p.m. Wednesdays during the academic year. For more information, please call 207-786-6158.

The adventurous printmakers in Redefining The Multiple expand traditional concepts of what printmaking is and what form a print or multiple may take.

They explore a wide array of imagery and forms through contemporary and historic techniques and media.

“The 13 featured printmakers could more accurately be described as artists who make multiples — that is, images or objects like Nobuaki Onishi’s cast-resin shovel, capable of being reproduced time and again,” wrote Heather Joyner Spica in a February 2012 issue of the Metro Pulse in Knoxville, Tenn. Viewers “should be seriously awed by at least some of what’s presented.”

Media represented in the show include etching, aquatint, monotype, screen printing, photographic processes, woodcut, three-dimensional work in felt, cast resin and video.

For example, Kimura, professor of art at Kyoto (Japan) City University of Arts, creates monotypes that investigate translucence and opacity by squeegeeing acrylic onto glass, notes Bates museum director Dan Mills.

“Marie Yoshiki creates delicate-low relief objects by printing countless layers of silkscreen ink until the ink itself becomes a distinct physical form,” Mills says. “Saori Miyake experiments with photograms and emulsion to create gelatin silver prints that address the experience of young girls growing up in contemporary Japan.”

Also showing in Redefining the Multiple are Junji Amano, Kouseki Ono, Koichi Kiyono, Shuji Chiaki, Toshinao Yoshioka, Shunsuke Kano, Naruki Oshima, Nobauki Onishi, Shoji Miyamoto and Arata Nojima.