Hiroyuki Tajima, Japanese (1911 - 1984)

Hiroyuki Tajima was born in Tokyo Japan in 1911.  In 1932 he graduated from Nihon University and in 1943 from the Western-style painting division of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts.  Tajima had a great interest in the Western dada and surrealist styles.  He received further training on mokuhan from Nagase Yoshi, one of the earliest Sosaku Hanga artists and on fabric dyeing from Hirakawa Matsugoro.

The artist made his first print in 1946, the same year he joined the Bijutsu Bunka Kyokai, a group instrumental in bringing abstract and surrealist painting back to Japan after the war.  In the 1960s and 1970s Tajima developed his well-known abstract style of prints made of dense rich pigments on complex surfaces formed by building the block up with various materials.  His prints were inspired by the ideals of East Asian calligraphy, traditional Japanese painting structures and a sense of space influenced by Zen Buddhist beliefs.  In 1963 Tajima became a member of the Nihon Hanga Kyokai, the Japanese Print Association.  In 1964 his work was shown in the Tokyo Biennale as well as in international competitions.  Tajima also produced landscape prints under the name of Nagai Kiyoshi.

*Information comes from Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900 – 1975 by Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada and Modern Japanese Prints 1912 – 1989, by Lawrence Smith


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