This painting by highly acclaimed washi craftsman and papermaker Wataru Hatano features an organic and varied surface texture, achieved through a combination of soil, pigment, acrylic and Japanese paper on wooden board. The piece is finished in black, with a white line across the bottom right. The surface is a worn away in parts, giving the piece character and a sense of age.
Washi is traditional Japanese paper (wa- Japanese, shi- paper) and is made from the fibres of either kozo, gampi or mitsumata plants. Hatano is based in Kurotani, where Kozo is readily available and is grown as a farm crop, meaning that every year supplies are replenished.
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.
This painting exudes an atmosphere of calm and tranquility and reflects the beauty of the everyday, just as Hatano intended.
Dimensions: H 52cm x W 42.5 cm
As all products are handmade sizes and colour may vary slightly.
Wataru Hatano 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.
Hatano’s innovative use of washi as a construction material is enabled by applying additional Japanese materials, such as soil, konnyaku paste, persimmon tannin and vegetable oil, to its surface to imbue it with additional properties. 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.