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Kunio Kaneko (1949 - )

Kunio Kaneko was born in Tokyo in 1949. Kunio Kaneko graduated from the Musashino University of Fine Arts. His woodblocks are pressed by traditional Japanese Baren, not by a pressing machine. Some are monotypes; with some, he uses gold leaf on colored paper. He has had several solo shows in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and one in the Gallery in New York. His works also have been part of group shows in Tokyo, Kyoto, Chiba, and Kanagawa as well as in Seoul, Korea.


I visited Kaneko's studio. His studio is the basement of his tall house in Tokyo. He works there every day. I asked him "What do you want to express in your artwork?" He said, "Love... and I want to let many people know "Mokuhanga"(Woodblock prints) are made by hand everything. A computer cannot do, artists use techniques such as use the strength and weakness of the hand during printing. All processes are by hand. We do not use the computer, electric, Atomic energy at all. The woodblock prints are created with everything from nature and made by a human being. Please feel the warmth from the hearts of human beings through Japanese woodblock prints." Kaneko wants to keep tradition (He loves Hokusai), however, he wants to create a new kind of "Neo Japan" art with global eyes which reflects world views. Very Japanese, but a little bit different vision. He wants to create something new with the Japanese tradition. I am sure Kaneko will be one of the great and important contemporary Japanese artists in history,