Wataru Hatano's work is made from the Kurotani washi, a traditional Japanese paper. Washi is hand-made by first separating the inner bark of the plant and pounding it. This pounded version of the Kozo inner bark is added to a liquid solution and mixed with tororo-aoi (fermented hibiscus root), resulting in a paste-like substance. Each sheet of paper is made by spreading this paste across a su (bamboo mesh screen) evenly. Sheets are subsequently left to dry. His intricately textured surfaces are then achieved through a combination of soil, pigment, acrylic and Japanese paper on a wooden board.
He says "I think I am good at painting simple, with a soft touch, and using my washi gives a special vibration to the painting."
'The Accumulation of Time' creates a standing image for the beauty of the everyday. Hatano's 'vibration' is echoed texturally, the organic layers creating a depth and timeless quality. The painting is intriguing, the layering emphasised by the singular muted dark tone, balancing simplicity and curiosity, creating a striking and meaningful piece with meditative properties.
About the Artist:
Wataru Hatano who has been fundamental in promoting and developing the use of washi (traditional paper). Hatano studied oil painting at Tama Art University before moving to Kurotani in the northern Kyoto prefecture in 1996. The region has been central to washi (traditional paper) making for over 800 years and Hatano became very interested in its quality, deciding to train at Kurotani Washi to learn the skills of its production.
His use of washi in paintings, furniture, stationary, wallpaper and flooring, demonstrate his skill and deep understanding of tradition. He has been incredibly important for the preservation and promotion of washi and his works are deservedly highly sought-after.