INOUE YUICHI (1916-1985)
INOUE YUICHI (1916-1985)
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INOUE YUICHI (1916-1985)

Tsuki (Moon)

INOUE YUICHI (1916-1985)
Tsuki (Moon)
Sealed Yuichi
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
70 ½ x 49 5/8 in. (179.1 x 126.1 cm.)
Inscribed 'CR 82102a'
Private collection, Japan
This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné Vol.4, now in preparation by Masaomi Unagami, under No.CR82102a.

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Takaaki Murakami (村上高明)
Takaaki Murakami (村上高明) Vice President, Specialist and Head of Department | Korean Art

Lot Essay

"To my mind, he (Yuichi) is unquestionably one of the small handful of great artists of the second half of the twentieth century. I do not know whether his work has been shown outside Japan, but it certainly should be. He was a marvelous painter of what I call, in my mind," essences" and I can think of no higher ideal in modern art which has abandoned storytelling" .
- Robert Motherwell (Letter to Masaomi Unagami, dated 16 April 1987)
Cofounder in 1952 of the avant-garde Society for calligraphy Bokujin-kai, Yu-ichi Inoue, along with four Kyoto-based calligrapher had the ambition to break through with the Post War Japanese calligraphy which felt to them merely decorative and lacking of new creative breath.
After a long seven-year training under mentorship of the established sho calligraphy master Ueda Sokyu, Yu-ichi started practicing calligraphy as he personally conceived it, slowly emancipating himself from the guidance of his teacher. This new exercise first destabilized the artist who suddenly realized that creativity can only go with a freeing movement. Then, followed a time when Yuichi devoted his entire self to the exploration of art by digesting and deconstructing his learning. Tirelessly he experimented new media and technics, hunted any rhetorical movement or set of rules to deepen his practice and finally acquire a complete freedom beyond any consciousness.
Tsuki (Moon) is created by wielding deft and powerful brush strokes, where composed boldness orchestrates vertical and horizontal structural lines that embody a beautiful artistic fusion of Western abstract expressionism and modern Japanese Calligraphy. Yu-ichi breaks with tradition and abandons the use of conventional small-size square paper. Instead, he opts for large sheets of paper with size over a hundred centimeters (40 in.) long in what he calls" the calligraphy of humans" — a liberation from traditional form of calligraphy that emphasizes skills to truthfully express the personal beliefs and emotions of the calligrapher by merging the human body and soul as one in the creation. At the end of the hook stroke in Tsuki (Moon), Yu-ichi lets the hook tapers off by sealing the space altogether: is it Moon or it isn't? This essentially blurs the literal sense of the character 'yue' (moon), where the three geometric patterns conjure a sheer composition from the visual perspective, while the intense burst of ink dots on the upper left suggest the artist's surge of creative passion.

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