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.
The paper is applied on a wooden panel acting as a canvas. It is then painted using a combination of pigment and acrylic resin, which is finished with fine liquid glass, making it waterproof. Each artwork is based on objects and colours inspired from things Hatano encounters through everyday life.
Care Instructions: Keep out of direct sunlight, lightly dust
Artist Wataru Hatano uses his deep, intuitive understanding of materiality and harmoniously blends traditional Japanese materials with cutting-edge techniques to create beautiful Kurotani washi paintings on wood. His expressiveness in tangibility and form evokes a sense of tranquillity, and mesmerisingly lures the viewer in with his skill for manipulating the paper. His intricately textured surfaces are achieved through a combination of soil, pigment, acrylic, and Japanese paper on a wooden board. Hatano’s soft and sensitive approach resonates with the material, which leads to poetic mark making and alluring free forms.
This piece pays homage to artistry and tradition, embracing the natural qualities of the washi paper and natural materials. The rich brown hues compliment the texture, echoing Hatano's notion of the 'vibration' in his work. The rough, multi-layered surface is an invitation for a moment of contemplation.
About the Artist
Wataru Hatano who has been fundamental in promoting and developing the use of washi (traditional paper). Wataru 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.