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While Shiro Kasamatsu is best known for his woodblock prints in the shin hanga (new print) style, he began his artistic career as a painter. A pupil of Kiyokata Kaburagi, Shiro actively exhibited his work in Bunten, Teiten, and as well as other official exhibitions. In 1919, Kiyokata urged his student to design woodblock prints for the famed shin hanga publisher Watanabe. Along with the works of Hasui, Shotei and others, Watanabe published many of Shiro’s designs in the 1930s. In the 1950s, the Shiro began working with the publisher Unsodo, releasing Eight Views of Tokyo and a series of kacho-e (bird-and-flower prints). Towards the end of his career, Shiro channeled the spirit of the sosaku hanga (creative print) movement, carving and printing his own woodblocks.
"For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication." - Friedrich