Byōbu or folding screen in two
panels, ornamented with a scene of stylized pine trees on a
beach above sunlit waves. Executed in a collage of washi
or handmade Japanese paper. Signed on the lower left corner
with a square seal-form signature by the artist: Issei
(Yamauchi Issei, born 1929). Shōwa era, circa 1955 – 1965.
An Aichi Prefecture artist, Yamauchi Issei
became famous for his work in paper collage. From 1953, he
exhibited widely at the Nitten, for which he was also invited
to serve as a juror four times. His art was commissioned for
presentation gifts to the Shōwa Emperor. Among the prizes
awarded to Issei for his work was the tokusen or grand prize
at the 1965 Nitten, the Ministry of Education New Crafts Prize
in 1984, and in 1997 the Prime Minister's Prize.
Painting with paper fibers, Issei renders
the classical theme of pines over a wave-washed beach. The
collage employs felt-like textures in the darkly shadowed
pines, edged with gold to catch the light reflecting off the
waves. The stark geometry of the trees fades in the
foreground, balanced by the water rippling in a haze of light
With this brilliant screen, Yamauchi Issei
celebrates nature with the impressionist abstraction of the
era. The artist scaled heights with paper collage seldom
attempted, creating a work of emotional depth and exceptional
For another piece by this artist, c.f.
Kagedo’s catalogue Blue Wind, frontis piece.
75 7/8” high x 68 7/16” wide x ¾” deep.