Yu-ichi Inoue was born in Tokyo in 1916, he studied painting and embarked on a career as a school teacher in 1935 – he did not retire from teaching until the mid-1970s, and education remained dear to his heart. Away from the schoolroom, he embarked on a calligraphy course with the famed teacher and artist Ueda Sokyu in 1942; this culminated in the first exhibition of Yu-ichi’s own calligraphic works in Tokyo in 1951. With a group of like-minded artist friends, Yu-ichi established the Bokujin-kai group (Ink People society) in 1952, which focused on the development and place of calligraphy in modern art, through an avant-garde lens.
Inoue aspired to turn calligraphy into art and developed an innovative form of sho that would contend with the wide-spread Euro-American abstraction expressionism in the modern art history. After experimenting with non-textual abstract art and using enamel paint rather than the ink of calligraphy tradition, Inoue Yuichi then realized that once calligraphy strays from its textual base, it seizes to hold any value for existing. This realization led him back to working with brush and ink and the development of his own unique art rhetoric. The larges sheets of paper that Inoue worked with by physically immersing himself in are documentations of the artist’s physical movements, energies, and also the spiritual states that he was in during those moments.
“Life of Yu-ichi Inoue: Liberation of Calligraphy” will present Yu-ichi’s early works, the renowned works he created in the post-WWII era, and the works he made during the last phase of his life. From Yu-ichi’s“Ichimoji-sho” (one character 一字書) to “Tamoji-sho”(multiple-character pieces 多文字書), the works showcased in this exhibition cover many styles adopted by Yu-ichi throughout his creative years. Through the works showcased in this exhibition, audiences can imagine Yu-ichi Inoue’ s physical movements, energies, and his feelings at the time he created his art.
This exhibition is co-organised by Our Gallery and General Incorporated FoundationsWorld Paper Heritage Support Foundation KAMIMORI.