18 March 2011

Of Course I'm Going to Japan

David Bull's Scroll Print, 2006

So many people have been asking me if I've canceled my trip to Japan in June for the Mokuhanga Conference. No! Absolutely not. I am SO going to Japan in June. First of all, the conference is in Kyoto, which is roughly 500 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake and maybe 450 miles from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Everything is fine in Kyoto.

And yes, I'm going to go to Tokyo first to meet my friend Mariko, who I will then be traveling to Kyoto with. And yes, Tokyo is much closer to all the earthquake and nuke plant action. But although that's the case, everything is OK in Tokyo, too. I'll be keeping track of the situation, of course, but I'm going to Japan.

Which brings me to David Bull, an extraordinary ex-pat Canadian ukiyo-e printmaker who lives in the greater Tokyo area. That's his work at the top of this page, one of my favorite pieces. Dave has written a beautiful and thoughtful piece about the situation in Japan from his perspective that I was really happy to read this morning. Thanks for posting your thoughts, Dave.

I can't wait to go to Japan. I can't wait to meet my moku hanga colleagues from all over the world, to share our love of the art, to meet papermakers and tool makers and to convert my American dollars into yen and spend them with wild abandon. I can't wait to see my Japanese friends and let them know, just by peering into their faces, that I love them and that I wish their beautiful country well with all my heart. I'm so lucky to be able to make this trip and wild horses couldn't drag me away! Please don't worry.


Rick Finn said...

Annie, I was glad to hear that the conference will continue as planned, and great to know that you'll be going! Since I won't be attending, I'm looking forward to reading all about it on your blog. :)

Wendy Willis said...

You go girl! Dwell in the joy of being in the presence of other printmakers. From the SGC Conference, I know you will feel the love.

Ellen Shipley said...

What an uplifting post. Thank you, Annie. :-]

bibble said...

Good for you Annie, I can't believe anyone would say not to go, it's a good six hours by shinkansen from Kyoto to Tohoku, and more than that, it shows a solidarity which I appreciate. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Thank you for linking in David Bull. I was not familiar with his work before now. I actually ended up buying his book "your first print" and am going to stop dragging my feet and start carving some blocks.

Maybe you can answer this question. I was taught to tear my paper down for printing. But for Moku Hanga, is it better to have cut edges so you can have more exact registration? What is the aesthetic on this?

Annie B said...

Hi Hannah,

"Your First Print" is a great learning tool. Enjoy!

Good question re: tearing paper. I used to always cut it, but I prefer a torn edge aesthetically, so now I tear it and then just cut one corner to fit snugly in the kento. Seems to work fine and you barely notice the cut.

mara said...

How much can I thank you for this post?
I've just started learning mokuhanga attending a short workshop with Paul Furneaux in Edinburgh, but I'm from Italy and there's not much mukuhanga talking here.. so to make a long story short I found your blog by chance while researching for my brand new blog, and I couldn't help browsing through all your old post, and when I read this the first thing that popped in my mind was "A Mokuhanga conference, in Kyoto? I must go" and so I will!! I was very lucky finding a last minute flight to osaka and today I just confirmed my presence to the conference...
And this really all thanks to you, so I hope to have the opportunity to meet you and introduce myself..
Thanks again!
Hope to see you very soon in kyoto