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Iwao Akiyama was a modern woodblock print artist best known for his prints of animals and Buddhist themes. Born in Takeda, Oita Prefecture in 1921, Akiyama studied drawing under a Buddhist monk as a child. Though he initially pursued a career in oil painting, he turned to the woodblock print medium after meeting Shiko Munakata. Akiyama studied under Munakata between 1959 and 1965. Akiyama’s typically printed his designs on delicate, long-fiber paper. The natural texture of the paper compliments his bold line and limited color palettes. From 1966 forward, Akiyama actively participated in the CWAJ (College Women’s Association of Japan) annual print exhibition and enjoyed over a hundred solo shows in Japan alone. Today, Akiyama’s prints can be found in museums worldwide, including the British Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, National Museum of Scotland, and the National Gallery of Victoria.
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