Mixed Media (Tetsuya Noda)
Tetsuya Noda (born 1940) graduated from the Tokyo University of Art (Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku) in 1963. He also studied with
the 'sôsaku hanga' printmaker Ono Tadashige (born 1909). Five years later, when he was only twenty-eight, he won the
grand prize at the Tokyo International Prints Biennial. Two other grand prizes followed in 1977 (Ljubljana International
Print Biennial) and 1978 (Norwegian International Print Biennial), as well as other prizes in competitions, and his works
are in many public and private collections around the world.
As a result of his international successes Noda has captured the attention of many collectors and critics with his mixed-media
prints. He uses various combinations of woodblock printing, photography, hand-applied additions, vinyl stencils made with an
electric scanner, mimeograph, and silkscreen to make his images, usually printed on hand-made Japanese papers.
Noda uses titles that suggest many of his images are daily pictorial diaries, often depicting private moments in his family's
life. This last point is something that Noda himself claims distinguishes him from many other modern artists who rely upon
photographic imagery of well-known people, places, or things. In contrast, Noda uses personal photos that are familiar only to
himself or his family.
The ordinary or everyday quality of his images is a prime focus in his work, and his prints often have a touching intimacy about
them. Noda used the word "Diary" (written in English) on his prints for the first time in January, 1971. A year later
he introduced his first still lifes, including the large print shown here, "Diary: May 7th, 1972." It was printed on
a silver-ivory patterned paper of a variety called unryû ("cloud dragon"), which measures 61.9 x 60.6 cm. Noda
used four impressions from woodblocks and three printings from silkscreens to create this design, which is numbered 20/30. Although
it is difficult to appreciate in this small digital scan, there is an effective softness in the colors and textures that give this
image a feeling of sensuality, while the pale peaches arranged seductively on the pillow have an anthropomorphic quality suggesting
an underlying eroticism. ©1999-2001 by John Fiorillo
- Jenkins, Donald: Images from a Changing World: Japanese Prints of the Twentieth Century. Portland, 1983, pp. 149-150.
- Smith, Lawrence: The Japanese Print Since 1900: Old Dreams and New Visions. London, 1983, pp.133-137.
- Tôno, Yoshiaki: Tetsuya: The Works, 1964-1978. Tokyo: Fuji Television Gallery, 1978.