An iconic figure of post-war Japanese modern calligraphy, Yuichi Inoue began gaining international recognition early on since the 1950s, with his work showcased in the S?o Paulo Biennial alongside Western abstract artists such as Jackson Pollock, Hans Hartung, and Pierre Soulages. Other important exhibitions that he contributed in include Modern Japanese Calligraphy, an exhibition that toured in Europe, and documenta in Kassel, demonstrating the wide recognition from the international art community to him as an artist and also to the genre of Japanese modern calligraphy.
He co-founded the avant-garde society for calligraphy, Bokujin Kai (Fig.1), and seeing the growing prominence of abstract expressionism in the West, he began advocating liberation from calligraphy's conservative doctrines for the pursuit of free, unrestricted calligraphic expressions. After experimenting with non-textual abstract art and using enamel paint rather than the ink of calligraphy tradition, Inoue then realized that once calligraphy strays from its textual base, it seizes to hold any value for existing. This realization led him back to working with brush and ink and the development of his own unique art rhetoric. The larges sheets of paper that Inoue worked with by physically immersing himself in are documentations of the artist's physical movements, energies, and also the spiritual states that he was in during those moments (Fig. 2). He also developed an ink application method to overcome the restriction of not being able to affix granulated textures with conventional ink on papers of massive scale, resulting in distinctive visual effects similar to the technique of using overnight ink (or dried ink).
Inoue designated a distinctive creative theme for himself throughout different stages in his creative career, with focus placed on kanji characters that had unique meanings to him. He created several pieces with variations on the kanji character for Flower because of his particularly fondness for the character written by an Edo period calligrapher, and he also named his first daughter Hanako, which means "flower girl" in Japanese (Fig.3). In 1971, a collection of his artworks was published in a book titled Hana-no-Sho-Cho (Book of Flowers). His Flower created in 1967 (Lot 95) is noted for their intentional elongated radicals, with the horizontal structures especially reinforced. His overall style also became rounder and more robust, with a sense of majestic vigour projected by the power in his brushstrokes.