Kagawa Tokio - Potato Print Artist
Kagawa Tokio 香川軍男 (1915-2002)
A western-style painter and print artist from Kitami City on Hokkaidō best known for his "potato prints" (薯版), he worked in the city government of Kitami until his retirement at the age of 49 after which he dedicated himself to print making, book design, and publishing. His best-known work is titled "薯版 AINU帖" (Imoban Ainuchō ) published in 1972 depicting objects of the Ainu culture.
Potato prints from the Compiled History of Civilization 開化史撰 by Kagawa Tokio, 1956
Sources: website of Roots & Arts Shiraoi https://www.shi-ra-oi.jp/arts2022/shiraoi/, translation of .pdf of artist's biography in Japanese found at E3839DE382B9E382BFE383BCE5B19527.5.22.pdf (canpan.info)
Potato Prints (Imoban) - An Art with Peculiarities
Source: "Prints & Photographs Published" appearing in The Print Collector's Newsletter, Vol. 19, No. 2 (May–June 1988), Published by: Art in Print Review Stable, p. 63. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24553619 Accessed: 10-07-2023
Most associated with elementary school art projects, the "potato has an affinity for stamping crude images or traditional patterns," as typifies Kagawa's images.
In the words of the American artist Archie Rand (b. 1949), who, in addition to his paintings created potato print, "'The cut potato is a [living], organic plate.' Its surface is moist when it is first cut but then quickly dries so 'one works fast when potato printing. You cannot proof a potato for editioning later. It usually rots by morning....One just does - the only activity is printing.'"
Of course, another limitation of potato printing is the size of images that can be created.
Works in Collection
click on image for details