Presented exclusively at the Asian Art Museum, Color Trip: Yoshida Hodaka’s Modern Prints is the first ever solo exhibition in the United States by an influential pioneer of Japanese printmaking. Yoshida Hodaka (1926–1995), born into the celebrated Yoshida family of print artists based in Tokyo, was a leading figure of postwar Japanese printmaking known for his surreal, abstract, and arrestingly colorful prints. Rebelling against the Yoshida family artistic style of realistic woodblock prints, Hodaka forged his own path. His unique style of surreal landscapes and abstract forms was inspired by his globe-spanning journeys, photography, poetry, ancient art, and the inventive methods of contemporaneous art movements.
“Hodaka was a rebel in the best sense, someone who imagined a new way of seeing the world. By combining the centuries-old woodblock printing with the modern methods of photo etching and collage and contemporary influences like Pop art and foreign travel, Hodaka opened up a new frontier in Japanese printmaking that was completely original to him,” says exhibition organizer Yuki Morishima, associate curator of Japanese art at the Asian Art Museum.
Hodaka’s 1973 suite of 12 poster-size Zodiac Landscape prints will be on view together for the first time ever at the museum. As Morishima notes, “Hodaka playfully assembled and juxtaposed ordinary objects out of context, creating his surreal scenes with dreamlike atmospheres. Every time you look at these prints, you find something new and exciting hiding in the landscape.” These deeply imaginative works, bursting with color and astrological mystique, provided inspiration for the exhibition’s name.
The Asian Art Museum acquired Hodaka’s prints in 2016 directly from his daughter Ayomi, who is also an artist the museum has exhibited as recently as 2017. As part of Color Trip’s immersion into the Yoshida milieu, Hodaka’s sketchbooks will be presented for the first time in the United States. The exhibition will also feature more than a dozen artworks by Hodaka’s father (Hiroshi), his mother (Fujio), his brother (Toshi), his wife (Chizuko), and Ayomi, giving audiences an unprecedented opportunity to chart Hodaka’s changing course as an artist as well as his enduring connections to his family.
Color Trip: Yoshida Hodaka’s Modern Prints is on view through May 1, 2023.