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judyPeople often ask me, "What made you start making wood block prints?"
I have always liked to draw.
So much that if I had a crayon in my hand, I was content.
It was 25 years ago that I first encountered wood block printing.
In those days I was doing oil painting.
I put the colors of my choice onto the canvas in any way I wanted.
It was my own free world.
However, when my friend took me to the one-man exhibition of my teacher,
Ms. Katsue Inoue, it shocked me.
It was a pair of prints; one was white poppies on a black background, and the other was black poppies on a white background.
Despite the pieces being in black and white, I could vividly feel the redness of the poppies.
The boldness of the lines cut under one chisel were the very attraction of the wood block prints.
"I want to make wood block prints." The thought crossed my mind.
I was so determined that I came out to say to Ms. Inoue, whom I have met for the first time,
" I wish to learn wood block printing . Could you take me as your pupil? "
" Oh! Youfre Ms. Judy Ongg, arenft you? " Ms. Inoue answered as she smiled.
"Yes!" I was flushing out of excitement, but she said,
"Well, ... I don't think you can do it. You are probably too busy being an actress."

Here it goes!!! I felt my 'wanna-do' sickness rising.
The desire to learn flows out without stopping as if gushing out of a dam, and as soon as I got home,
I started looking for "boards" to use for making my first wood block print.
Fortunately, as there was some plywood left over form when my brother had made a stereo case,
I grabbed it, drew a picture of a camellia on it, and started carving with the chisel I had borrowed from my brother.
I did it as I remembered from high school classes. There was no technique or anything.
Only my single-minded desire to do it.
And to my own surprise, I finished it after a few days.
I didn't have a barren yet, so I printed with a slipper, and took it to Ms. Inoue while her exhibit was still on.
"Oh, my," uttered Ms. Inoue and her friends, looking at the board rather than the wood block print.
One among them was Mr. Naganuma of the Japan Fine Arts Exhibit. Being a sculptor himself,
he suggested to Ms. Inoue, "My dear Katsue, from the way she has carved, I can tell she is pretty stubborn.
Maybe she will stick it out."
"Well, okay, then why don't you start next week?" This is how I started making wood block prints.
I learned later that it would have been easier if I had carved the board along the grain,
but not knowing how to carve,
I just kept on carving in all directions from the picture outwards.
It seems that somehow my enthusiasm reached the hearts of Ms. Inoue and the others.
I still have the block from that time.
It is my good-luck charm.

Profile of my prints *Click on the blue title for an image.

2009 Wan Show Pavilion
 -shown at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, Nitten. (The National Art Center, Tokyo)
2009 Art Exhibition :Shimodate Museum of Art,Ibaragi
2008 Art Exhibition :Cultural Museum of Aomori,Aomori
2008 Forgetting Summer in the Cool Garden
 -Shown at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition,Nitten.(The National Art Center,Tokyo)
2008 Exhibition at Beijing China National Museum
2007 Holy Bridge in Jaded Garden
 -shown at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, Nitten. (The National Art Center, Tokyo)
2007 Awakening of Autumn
 -shown at Hakujitsu-kai
2006 Snow of Fortune
 -shown at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, Nitten. (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2005 The Embrace of Red and Green
 -won the Outstanding Award at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, Nitten,
(shown at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2005 Twilight of Soma-Ro
 -shown at Hakujitsu-kai (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2004 Tea House Soma-Ro
 -shown at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, Nitten. (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2004 Sakura of Kyoto Gion Shirakawa
 -shown at Hakujitsu-kai (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2003 Welcome of Phoenix
 -shown at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, Nitten. (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2003 Jade Green Spring of Kyoto
 -shown at Hakujitsu_kai (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2002 Gate of Welcoming Happiness
 -shown at Hakujitsu_kai (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2001 Maple Leafs of Deep Autumn
 -shown at The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, Nitten. (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum)
2001 Old Residence of Tainan
 -Shown at the 77th HAKUJITSUKAI
2000 Water and Soft Breeze
2000 May 2-31
 -One-man Exhibition in Le Rendez-vous Toyota of Paris,France.
2000 Royal Green of Little Garden
 -Shown at the 76th HAKUJITSUKAI
1999 Pure Green of After Shower
 -Wins entry into the 28th Japan Fine Arts Exhibit
1999 September 15-30
 -One-man Exhibition at the Rose Gallery of Hamburg ,Germany
1999 Midsummer's Soothing Dream(Midsummer's Soothing Dream)
 -Shown at the 75th HAKUJITSUKAI Commemorative Exhibit
1998 Meissen earthenware of Germany presents a ceramic plate
print - with a motif based on my print "Cattleya"
1998 Reflection of Early Summer
 -Shown at the 74th HAKUJITSUKAI Exhibit
1998 Sensation of Spring
1997 November 1-9  -Image and Poetry of the Mind (Image and Poetry of the Mind)
Exhibition at - Kaohsiung Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center
1997 October 18-31  -Image and Poetry of the Mind Exhibit in National Dr.Sun Yat-Sen Memory Hall
1997 One-man Exhibition at Lake Yamanaka Museum
1997 One-man Exhibition at Yume-HodakaMuseum
1997 Serenade of The Green(Serenade of The Green)
 -Shown at the 73rd HAKUJITSUKAI exhibit.
1997 January  - Exhibition - at Shinjuku Mitsukoshi Art Gallery
1996 Fragrance of EarlySpring(Fragrance of EarlySpring )
 -Shown at the 72nd HAKUJITSUKAI Exhibit
1995 "This Only Night"
 -Wins entry into the 71st HAKUJITSUKAI Exhibit (Accepted as a regular member of
1994 Red Summer of Okinawa(Red Summer of Okinawa)
 -Wins entry into the 70th Commemorative HAKUJITSUKAI Exhibit
1993 July 17- Aug. 1
 -First One-man Exhibition at Galeria Prova
1985 Tea House(Tea House)
 -Wins entry into the Japan Fine Arts Exhibit
1984 Old Oil Shop-2(Old Oil Shop-2)
 -Wins entry into the Japan Fine Arts Exhibit
1983 Winter Sun(Winter Sun)
 -Wins entry into the Japan Fine Arts Exhibit
1978 Summer Breeze(Summer Breeze)
 -Wins entry into the Japan Prints Association Exhibit
1977 Old Oil Shop(Old Oil Shop)
 -Wins entry into the Japan Wood Block Prints Association Exhibit
1976 Private Residence (Private Residence)
 -Wins entry into the Japan Wood Block Prints Association Exhibit
1975 Old Warehouse of Fabric Shop (Old Warehouse of Fabric Shop)
 -Wins entry into the Japan Wood Block Prints Association Exhibit