110th Anniversary 30th Q Ei Exhibition Photo-dessins and Stencils

Sep. 03 [Fri.] ― Sep. 25 [Sat.] 2021 11:00-19:00
Gallery closed on Sunday, Monday, and national holidays.

*Click images to view in original size.

To celebrate Q Ei's 110th birthday this year, Watanuki Ltd. will hold our 30th Q Ei exhibition. At this exhibition, we will display around 25 of Q Ei's photo-dessins and stencils.
Q Ei's "photo-dessin" utilizes the same methods as the photogram (rayogram) pioneered by Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy - they are made by directing light onto photographic paper with objects arranged on top. But the self-coined term hints at the pride of a young Q Ei who blazed his own trail for himself. Unlike Man Ray and the other pioneers, Q Ei used his own cut-out paper stencils to create an enormous amount of works. One look at this body of work reveals their uniqueness and strong painterly qualities. Q Ei's stencils were made from regular paper and cellophane - but they were also cut out from other completed photo-dessins (photo paper). It's traditionally been said that failed photo-dessins were reused as stencils for new works, but among the photo-dessin stencils are pieces neatly signed and dated by Q Ei. What kind of reasoning may have led to the cutting of these stencils, not failed works, but neither yet lavishly completed ones?
The pencil sketches and the cut out lines of these stencils allow us to feel the traces of Q Ei's hand.
Along with the exhibition, will also publish an exhibition catalogue (text by IIZAWA Kotaro and WAGNER ASANO Tomoko).

●Exhibition Catalogue

"110th Anniversary 30th Q Ei Exhibition Photo-dessins and Stencils" Exhibition Catalogue
2021 B5 28P
Essays: WAGNER ASANO Tomoko (art professor), IIZAWA Kotaro (photography critic)
Design: Okamoto Issen Design Studio
Published: Watanuki Ltd. | Toki-no-Wasuremono
880 yen (tax included) + shipping
*Image captions in Japanese and English, essay in Japanese only

Q Ei
Q Ei, whose early work was done under his real name of Hideo Sugita, was born in Miyazaki Prefecture in 1911. At age 15, his criticism started appearing in the art magazines "Atelier" and "Mizue". Q Ei’s first collection of photo-dessins, was published in 1936 as "The Reason for Sleep" (Nemuri No Riyu). In 1937, he set up the art organization "Free Art Association" (Jiyu Bijutsu Kyokai). As to criticize the established public group and Japan art world, he set up "Democratic Artists Association" in 1951.
Q Ei had great influence among the young Japanese artists at that time such as Ay-O, Masuo IKEDA, Yukihisa ISOBE, On KAWARA, and Eikoh HOSOE. He challenged various medium such as oil paintings, photo-dessins, prints, and created a unique world of art. He died in 1960 at the age of 48.

Gallery view

"Photo-dessin stencil 38", "Title Unknown"

"Title Unknown"

"Photo-dessin stencil 38"

"Title Unknown", "Title Unknown" (c.1950), "Two people"

"Two people"

"Title Unknown", "Three ballerinas", "Title Unknown", "Child", "Pierrot & a Dancer on the Ladder"

"Child", "Pierrot & a Dancer on the Ladder"

"Title Unknown"

"Title Unknown", "Three ballerinas"

"Photo-dessin stencil 47"

"Title Unknown"

"Title Unknown", "Ballet Lesson", "A Nap", "Title Unknown"
"Reason of Sleep" (Set of 9 prints)

"A Nap", "Title Unknown"

"Title Unknown", "Ballet Lesson"

"Title Unknown"

"Ballet Lesson"

"A Nap"

"Title Unknown"

"Reason of Sleep" (Set of 9 prints)

"Reason of Sleep" (Set of 9 prints)

"Title Unknown" (Photo-dessin stencil)

"Photo-dessin stencil 36"

"Photo-dessin stencil 30", "Photo-dessin stencil 39"

"Photo-dessin stencil 39"

"Photo-dessin stencil 30"

"Photo-dessin stencil 44"

Catalogue "110th Anniversary 30th Q Ei Exhibition Photo-dessins and Stencils"