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Reference » Ukiyo-e »  Artists Biographies

Fumio Kitaoka 1918-2007

Fumio Kitaoka was a painter, printmaker and graphic artist. He was also an honourable member to the Japanese Association of Printmakers as well as a director of the Japanese Association of Artists.

As a student of the Academy of Fine Arts, he was trained in both traditional Japanese printmaking and modern western oil painting. It was around the Second World War period when Western paintings were available to marvel in Japan and younger artists were aware of Impressionism in Europe.

After World War II Fumio studied under Onchi Koshiro (1891-1955), a modern print maker who founded the movement called Sosaku-hanga. In 1955 the artist went to Paris to study further western woodcut techniques at the famous Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts. During the years, his ideas shifted towards abstract art and expression. By the time Fumio came back to Japan, he was already known internationally.

Kitaoka exhibited throughout Asia, Europe and America, where he was invited to teach at the Minneapolis Museum School of Art and at the Pratt Graphic Arts Center in New York in 1964.

Although Fumio was influenced by western art, his style remained the Japanese tradition. He enriched his works with western techniques and some degree of abstraction, especially in his black and white pieces. In his later works, Fumio returned to traditional Japanese woodblock prints of landscapes.