Dancing with Wood: 50 Years of Woodcuts: Naoko Matsubara
For over fifty years Naoko Matsubara has worked in, through, with, and about “wood.” She has engaged with the material in its raw and processed form, revelling in it as her preferred medium for creative expression. From the start she rejected the rigidity of traditional Japanese woodcut printmaking (ukiyo-e), her heritage, embracing instead the modernist tenets of self-identity, subjective response, spontaneity and freedom of expression, and enhancement of the medium’s inherent qualities. She has, for all intents and purposes, “danced” wood, profoundly and with conviction. This dance has manifested itself in myriad ways, her own aesthetic sense being guided by her personal predilections and impulses at any given time. Challenging herself to venture within and beyond the conventional boundaries of the woodcut, driving her creative processes with new inflections of technique, she has created a body of work that is consistently rich in content, powerful in expression, and evocative to the core.