Author Archives: artlabshop

Support of Earthquake Victims

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great east Japan

Our purpose for this project is to encourage victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan. It was a few years ago now, and most people have started forgetting this tragic incident.  However, some are still suffering since that time.  Many of these people lost their family, homes, and jobs, and some are still living in temporary accommodation. Daily it’s a struggle to find hope and something to live for. [Read more]

Artist Review – Studio Nohara

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studio nohara logo

Traveling overseas, I was reminded of just how wonderful Japan really is.

The thing I noticed most was how wonderful the seasons are. In a climate that has four separate seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter, the changes in nature can be felt clearly because of Japan’s unique natural features.

I also think that Japanese people have a unique ability to carefully observe those changes with a subtle power of description. The natural phenomenon of plants, food, and animals changing with the seasons has been beautifully expressed in works of art since long ago.

Artist Review – Egaodepot

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Egao Depot logo

There are thoughts that can’t be expressed with words. However, their importance can be expressed through art.  Egaodepot takes a passionate interest in expressing your happy memories and your affection to the ones you love with a one-of-a-kind portrait. “A portrait can depict a universe that cannot be seen in photos. However, this is not just about drawing a simple portrait. We create a custom-made portrait by contriving various elements such as a composition, a background, a pose, etc.”

Artist Review – Yosuke Kiso


Yosuke Kiso has lived in Yamagata prefecture since entering Tohoku University of Art and Design.  He studied Japanese painting in university and continued making art while working in art education.

He has studied Japanese calligraphy since he was a small child, and started learning “Tenkoku” stamp carving when he was 18.

1_3kakejikuKiso has been attracted by traditional hand-made Japanese paper produced in Yamagata ever since he was completing his masters degree.  To this day, he continues using local hand-made paper for his art works.

Much of the art produced by Kiso uses Japanese paper, produced by local Yamagata businesses trying to keep alive the traditional techniques.  His works include Tenkoku hand-carved stamps, calligraphy, and “kata-e-zuri”「型絵刷り」a traditional Japanese dyeing and weaving technique applied to paper.
quality_mebaruHe does work in other mediums, creating engraved stone seals, for example.  But of course, these seals are used to print onto traditional paper!
Part of Kiso’s mission is to introduce people to hand-made Japanese paper art works, and at the same time contribute to promoting the local traditional paper production industry.

Yamagata may be far away from where you live, it’s even far from the Japanese centres of  Tokyo and Osaka, but we’re proud to be able to introduce you to Kiso’s traditional art work, wherever you are in the world.

You can read more about this wonderful artist on our sister blog.