An excerpt from ‘Workshop: The Kenneth Tyler Collection’ about the techniques used in Masami Teraoka’s ‘Hawaii Snorkel’ series
“Teraoka’s work in both paint and print is distinctive for bringing together the precise and contained style of traditional Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, with surprising and often humorous elements of contemporary western life and American pop culture…
Like traditional ukiyo-e compositions, Teraoka’s ‘Hawaii snorkel’ series features flawless tonal gradations, delineated in black; multiple cartouches and seals bearing calligraphic text; and the careful, layered articulation of foreground, mid-ground and background space. To achieve the artist’s desired effect, Tyler employed ukiyo-e woodblock techniques, which produce a rich, intense black and sharp outlines, combined with newer western techniques of etching and aquatint. It was a complex, hybrid method of printing carried out in 13 distinct stages. The paper used was developed by Tyler in collaboration with Fuji Paper Mills Cooperative in Tokushima, Japan. Handmade and sized after extensive testing, it could withstand multiple applications of water and ink between printing stages.” [i]
[i] Gwen Horsfield, ‘Masami Teraoka’ in Workshop: The Kenneth Tyler Collection, National Gallery of Australia, 2015, pp.266-9.