In Summer 2018 Professor Jimin Lee took a group of UCSC Art students to Japan to learn Japanese woodblock printmaking “Moku Hanga” known as the “Ukiyo-e technique” widely studied by artists today. While in the Western tradition, oil-based ink is applied with a roller and printed onto the papers surface, often with the help of a press, in the Japanese tradition water-based ink is applied with a brush and, while being printed by hand, is pressed deeply into the absorbent Japanese paper. This method deeply influenced some late 19th-century Post-Impressionist artists, such as Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet.
At Tokyo National University of the Arts, students studied the treasured historical skills and tools of Moku Hanga with greater understanding and appreciation. Classes included field trips to local museums and galleries, hands-on workshops at a traditional paper mill (washi) in Tokyo, and interactions with local visiting artists, master printmakers and other Japanese students. Through various class activities, excursions, and cultural visits students were exposed to diverse and multi-regional art practices that broadened their perspectives and increased their understanding not only in the field of print media but in the larger contemporary visual culture. These classes help stimulate and inspire our UCSC undergraduate art major students to prepare their artistic careers and expand their possibilities for study opportunities internationally.