Narwhal is pleased to present the second Canadian exhibition of the artwork of Japanese artist Toshio Saeki. The works presented in this exhibition are comprised of original ink drawings from 1972 to the present, including three new original drawings exclusively for this exhibition. As part os the exhibition Saeki has recreated one of his most famous scenes and recoloured it to create Ureshidaruma, an edition of 100 silkscreen prints available only through Narwhal.
Celebrated as the “Godfather of Japanese Eroticism”, Saeki’s artwork draws from the basement of a collective subconscious, depicting universal taboos through surreal narratives and dark humour. Filtering imagery from his photographic memory and childhood experiences through imagination and dreams, Saeki splits open a universally erotic world where iconic characters subject themselves to grotesque behaviours staged within traditional Japanese environments.
Accessing the traditional Japanese partnership employed by the Ukioy-e woodcut masters, Saeki creates his original works as black and white ink drawings which he then overlays with vellum sheets hand marked with colour plans for the visualized finished image. As an “eshi” (artist) he passes his designs to a “surishi” (printer) and they are developed into the final work. Saeki refers to his method of practice as Chinto printing. Through harmonizing provocative contemporary imagery with traditional Japanese culture, Saeki’s work transcends time, weaving fantastically grotesque and abstract narratives that are at once are at once startlingly indecorous yet remarkably alluring.