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Moku-hanga artist's presentation by Micah Schwaberow

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Gallery F (lower level)
noon–4:00 p.m.
The Art of moku-hanga: Japanese woodblock printmaking

Hour-long presentations start at noon, 1:20 p.m., and 2:40 p.m., with a short Q&A session to follow each

Join artist Micah Schwaberow for a special presentation on the traditional art of moku-hanga, woodblock printing. The artist will break down the process to illustrate the sequence and build up of steps, color components, and materials. 

Schwaberow learned all about traditional Japanese woodblock printing methods at the studio of Toshi Yoshida. At Elizabeth Quandt-Barr's he addressed himself to other print techniques as well as artistic painting. Additionally Schwaberow created esthetic gourd vessels. Much of his paper work, mainly the woodblock prints, appeared in some precious editions of typographic books, including Tuolumne, Book I, which received the highest award during festivities at Yosemite National Park.

At first sight Schwaberow's paper works look unspectacular. He regards his work as "color haiku, large places compressed. Intimate glimpses through small windows." This way unimposing things become more important.

Schwaberow combines Eastern and Western elements in his prints. He focuses on the effect of his work and not only the printing itself. "I am trying to make woodblock prints that don't look like woodblock prints - the wood and the knife invisible, the colors and edges as soft and resonant as a watercolor."

"I work in the traditional Japanese moku-hanga woodblock technique for many reasons. it is simple, in the way that making a pot is simple: wood and paper, water and pigment, hand and tool. Yet the process is simultaneously complex, challenging my craftsmanship at every turn. 
"Multiple-block printmaking is not spontaneous. Most of the work for every print is in the days and weeks of preplaning and the months of endless color-testing, remixing, recarving, washing all the blocks and brushes, and beginning again. Even when a satisfactory test proof is achieved, the printing of the final edition is unpredictable. I am always surprised. 
"Watercolor printed from carved wooden blocks is unlike any other color I know. I have been practicing moku-hanga for almost 30 years now, yetI feel I am just beginning to expolre the potential of this medium."
—Michah Schwaberow

Illustration: Permission Solo, Micah Schwaberow

Ticket Information

Free after museum admission. Seating is first come, first served and available on a drop-in basis, although we do recommend attending for the full hour-long talk. 


We would like to thank the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco for their generous support of the artist's studio. 

For more information on programs related to Japanese culture and history, please visit:
Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco
Japan Society of Northern California

Contact Information

Andrea Martin