Ray Morimura


Ray Morimura (b.1948) is a Japanese artist from Tokyo who works mostly with wood block prints.  His work has a stylish art deco air about it, but with a contemporary twist.   I particularly like the way in which he juxtaposes linear and rounded designs, lending the prints a sense of softness and depth.  He also creates a feeling of vastness by portraying certain elements of a picture very small and others very large, for example in the print below, the women are tiny and slender with stick like legs, and in comparison the trees above them seem dauntingly high.  In fact we never even see the tree tops.  Thus, nature in Morimura’s work, appears both beautiful and threatening, with a fairy tale feel to it.  The artist draws us very close to nature, for example, in his print depicting hydrangeas, the flowers seem to envelope and almost dwarf the temple in the back ground. The same can be said for the gorgeous image above, where the lilac wisteria dominates the picture, creating a frame for the small palace in the distance. The effective print of a snow covered tree lined avenue with a black cat has evidently been inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s illustration for one of his Just So stories.

l can’t help feeling that the three wonderful works below are inspired by one of my favourite childhood stories ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’.  Each night after bedtime the princesses escape from the palace and pass through three enchanted forests, one made of glass, one of silver, and one of gold. They  reach a lake where a magical ball takes place and they spend the whole night dancing.  The king is confused because every morning, when the tired princesses are ‘woken’ their shoes are ruined.  The king sends a soldier to follow the girls, when he discovers what they have been up to, the soldier is given the youngest daughter in marriage and it all ends happily ever after…


Rudyard Kipling

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~ by bethiarose on September 7, 2011.

One Response to “Ray Morimura”

  1. I love the order in the compositions.
    The feeling is one of serenity and natural order.
    Masterful.

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