Haku Maki (1924-2000) Poem 70-45 (1970?)
Beautifully framed color intaglio woodblock print on paper, ''Poem 70-45'' (#44 of an edition of 202) by Haku Maki, pencil signed, titled, and numbered within lower margin, bears artist's red seal, has framed height of 25'' with width of 19''. All measurements are approximate.
Haku Maki was born in 1924 under the name of Maejima Tadaaki in the small town Asomachi in the Ibaraki Prefecture. In 1945 the artist's life nearly ended, as he was in a special squadron of kamikaze pilots. However, Japan’s surrender on August 14, 1945 saved his life, and he became a teacher at a high school. In 1950 he changed his name to Haku Maki. The artist became famous by using old Chinese and Japanese kanji characters and refining them into abstract compositions of archaic look. Later the artist chose persimmons and ceramics as his favorite subjects. Artist’s technique: A finished Haku Maki print is usually the result of a process of applying mixed media printing techniques. To obtain the embossed effect, Maki first carved a conventional woodblock. He then used wet cement around the carved area. After the cement hardened the design was carved and chiseled. Maki used a wet, double-layered paper to print, raising the subject from the surface of the paper which gives the work a three dimensional image. Maki's oeuvre is characterized by clean, sharp images, whether done in black kanji on a white background or in a bright color against a dark background. His prints usually contain one outstanding object, whether kanji or a ceramic vessel or a persimmon.