Haruka Furusaka | ふるさかはるか



Woodblock print reflects the cultural climate. Its technique has progressed according to the humid climate in Japan and the materials obtained from the accessible forests. In the tools and materials worked out over a long period of time by ancient people, such as high-quality Japanese paper, chisel, baren made of bamboo sheath, etc., I feel a sense of wonder, as if I’m finding a beautiful color or shape in nature. I want to stand at the edge of that context, choose a material from the surrounding nature, and create something that is appropriate for the present climate.



While learning about materials, I interviewed people who conduct handwork in regard to their view of nature. Above all, I was most inspired by the words of the Sami, indigenous people in Scandinavia. One of the things I learned from their handwork and art is: “Work with your hands and think as if you’re responding to nature through the materials given from nature.” It does not simply mean making use of natural materials. To create something in a way that is responding to nature, and how to shape what is imagined in order to “cooperate with nature” is important.



Currently, I work on woodblock prints in accordance with the cycle of seasons by creating paint from collected soil and cultivated indigo leaves, sowing seeds and sifting soil in spring, fermenting indigo in summer, creating paint and picking seeds in fall, and preparing wood in winter..



To “cooperate with nature” means to respond. Drawing is responding to each color and shape given from nature, voices heard in the interviews, and things imagined. Layered colors of paint become shadow, and crack and grain of woodblock become a part of the composition. The workings of nameless people drawn in the shape of a woodblock start to give a message. That image is drawn by me, but it is also an image cultivated by the cultural climate.



Pass down
In “Kucyusansou Woodblock Printmaking” that I conduct in parallel with creating artwork, I have been teaching the basic techniques of woodblock print. 10 years from the foundation of Kucyusansou as an opportunity, I have aggregated learning guides from what I cultivated in the classroom. For example, as there are many reasons for how to hold a chisel, what you can learn while working with your hands is limitless. I’m hoping that your realization becomes your originality, and appears in the artwork, which will be passed down in the future woodblock print.