These paintings are loosely based on black and white or colour, Japanese wood block prints of the Oban period. My interest was in the dramatic poses struck by the actors in this dance, an informal piece of theatre when compared to the court form of masked, No theatre. Each figure provided a collection of shapes where I could explore colour, texture and pattern.
Number 1 is based on the actor Ichikawa Danjuro performing the dance drama Tokiwa Genji as portrayed by Kiyotada, c 1720.
Number 2 is based on a Torii Kiyonobu II print of 1726. Number 3 is based on Torii Kiyomasu’s print of Ichikawa Danjuro I, striking the pose ‘Shibaraku’ (halt). Number 4, shows Arashi Rikan II, acting the part of the samurai Mashiba Hisayoshi (Hideyoshi), as depicted by the printmaker Ashiyuki, 1830.