49764992_1_x Kiyoshi Saito, Onri An Kyoto D, 1967

Kiyoshi Saito was a Japanese artist who was part of the 20th century art movement sōsaku hanga. The origins of the movement are founded in Kanae Yamamoto's (1882–1946) 1904 print Fisherman.

The foundations of the movement concentrate on the artist who is motivated by a desire for self-expression, with artists' works which were part of this movement following chief principles of self-drawing, self-printing and self-carving.

In 1951, Saito became the first Japanese printmaking artist to win the São Paulo Biennale. Yamamoto and Saito beat Japanese paintings, Western-influenced artworks, sculptures and avant-garde pieces to claim the 1951 title.

1951 1951 São Paulo Biennale

Saitō's early works focused on Japanese villages using realism, his style went on to combine modern art techniques with his Japanese heritage.

Katsunori Hamanishi, Two Poems, 2015 Katsunori Hamanishi, Two Poems, 2015

Born in 1949, Katsunori Hamanishi uses the painstaking technique of mezzotint to create his works. The technique uses copper plates which are roughened to create the 'rocker' whilst an image is drawn with a burnisher, for light elements, and a scraper for the dark areas.

The attention to detail and patience needed to use the technique is of a similar measure to traditional Japanese woodblock carving. Although the works may appear to be created using a photo-mechanical printing method, it is in fact a hard labor to create works using mezzotint. Hamanishi is regarded a master of the method.

As well as being renowned for his rope imagery, Hamanishi features nature in his works. This example of his work conveys the use of light and shade in the moon alongside the extreme darkness of the silhouette of the treetops, which appear to dance across the moon's surface.

The more recent works of Hamanishi, including this example, feature gold, silver, copper and lead foils.

Both pieces featured will be included in Jasper52's auction on December 17, 2016. Check out the full catalog here.

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