Toko Shinoda: Calligraphy
Presents numerous works done for title pages and product labels, characterized by Toko’s distinctive style of free-flowing brushwork.
Toko’s first individual exhibition was held in 1940 at the respected paper store, Kyukyodo. The exhibition included about 20 original calligraphies of her own poetry and classical poems, but the newspaper reviews criticized it as “talented calligraphy without foundation.” In the world of calligraphy at that time, the grip of classical practice remained dominant, and, in the atmosphere of those prewar times with acceptance of free artistic expression growing increasingly difficult, Toko’s personal style of calligraphy was not well received. After the war’s end, however, with the restoration of artistic and intellectual freedom, Toko’s work received attention for its pursuit of new forms. Her original brushwork grounded in training in classical calligraphy displayed a distinctive style that people found attractive and intriguing. This exhibit included calligraphic works done for book designs and product labels and related materials.