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Biography Munakata, Shik˘ (1903 - 1975)

Shik˘ Munakata is doubtlessly one of the giants of Sosaku Hanga. Already in 1920 he was active as an artist, and he kept developing throughout his career. He was originally captured by oil painting. However, he was deeply influenced by the woodblock print artist Kawakami Sumio, his artistic focus shifted, and he began woodcarving. Another artist that influenced him was Hiratsuka Un'ichi.
Other influences were the Folk Art Movement of Yanagi S˘etsu and Buddhism. From the 1950s he gained international recognition and won many prizes. He was troubled by bad eyesight, and at the end of his life he was practically blind. His work is very expressionist. His method of carving was unique: with rapid cuts he ploughed though a woodblock in his inimitable style; dabs of colour were sometimes added to his b/w keyblock impression. He also made paintings, which are also instantly recognizable.

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