The Kyoto artist Idô Masao (井堂雅夫) was born in Manchuria (northeast China) in 1945, but his family moved to Morioka in Iwate Prefecture, Japan in 1946 and to Kyoto in 1959. Idô apprenticed with Mitsuho Yoshida, a traditional fabric dyer, in 1961, and also studied in Kyoto with Yoshida Kôhô and Ôtsubo Shigechika (woodblock prints) in 1972. Now a long-time resident of Kyoto, he has hosted a television show on a Japanese cable network (NKK) on making woodblock prints. A highly regarded modern printmaker focused on traditional themes, Idô is the premier printmaker in the Kyoto area. His works are included in the collections of such institutions as the Museum of Modern of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Florence Municipal Museum; Kyoto National Museum; and Tokyo National Museum.
For more information about this artist, see Ido Masao Biography.
Idô Masao is best known for his picturesque and tranquil views of landscapes, town and city views, gardens, and flora and fauna, so as a comparison with our dramatic print, see IDO01 and IDO02.
Idô produced only a few designs with dramatic skies at sunset. The most expressionistic of these is offered here, in large format, titled Yûbae (Sunset glow: 夕映え). Dare we suggest that the extraordinary blood-red sky evokes the famous expressionist artwork (first painted in 1893) by the Norwegian Edvard Munch (1863-1944) called "The Scream" or Skrik ("Shriek")? Regardless, this is decidedly an atypical print for Idô with overtones of Symbolism and Expressionism. While a few other sunset images by Idô use similarly emphatic colors in the sky, none approach the emotional impact of this design.
- Idô, Masao: Official website (www.gado.jp/en/story.html).
- Idô, Masao: A Poem of Printing: The Woodblock Prints by Masao Idô. Kyoto Shoin Co, Ltd., 1998.
- Merritt, Helen, and Yamada, Nanako: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints 1900-1975. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 38.