In her book, Sono hi no sumi (The Sumi Ink of the Day), published in 1983, Toko Shinoda says, “Lithography does not translate the history of bygone days into a print, but it is where you can contain the work of the living (moving) brush and entrust a “prayerful spirit” to the person who brings it back to life. That spirit generates an interaction between artist and printer, and I always enjoy the ‘electric’ current bouncing back and forth between us as I work on a lithograph.”
Toko began producing lithographs around 1960, and since then until only recently she had entrusted the printing to Kihachi Kimura (1934–2014). Recalling his work with Toko, Kimura said, “Printing the pale shades of ink she used was extremely difficult, involving many accidental factors that were hard to calculate.”
The works of lithography that returned to her after going through the printing process richly expressed the qualities of her brushwork, displaying a world of avant-garde calligraphy somewhat different from her original works. From among the works of lithography Toko created during her more-than-forty-year collaboration with printer Kihachi Kimura, the present exhibition presents the pieces that stand out for their expression in pale shades of sumi.