Friday, May 14, 2010

a delightful surprise

Today I received an unexpected gift of a slim book titled Hagaki to tomo ni (together with postcards) containing photographs of handmade art postcards. On first glance they appear to be traditional etegami, but a closer look reveals them to be etegami-collage hybrids. The "drawing" part of each postcard is, in most cases, shapes cut out of old kimono fabric or obi (the stiff sashes worn with kimono) and pasted onto a washi card. The accompanying words are done in the traditional way, with ink brushes and sumi ink.

The book is a collection of the works of postcard artist Kimura Atsuko. The collection includes a great variety of styles, which tells me that she really enjoys experimenting. Best of all, the words are thoughtful and thought-provoking. It's an encouraging collection for those of us who don't see a problem in stretching the boundaries of traditional etegami. The attached image is from the title page of the book. It depicts a flounder (or perhaps, turbot) cut from kimono fabric, and the accompanying words translate roughly to mean: When one is happy, words are round.


  1. Wonderful! How eye-openingly progessive and lovely.

  2. I was a little afraid that the comments my etegami colleagues made about some of the unorthodox submissions to the Tomato Etegami Call in April might have discouraged some people from pursuing etegami, and I wanted to show that experimentation is not frowned upon even among etegami artists.

  3. Every style of art progresses. It may not be strictly traditional, but perhaps only the strict traditionalists care.

  4. Very nice idea!