Biographies of japanese print makers


Biography Kristensen, Tom (1962 - )

Tom Kristensen was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1962. By profession a landscape designer, he was inspired by Paul Binnie's work and by the works of the group of artists known as the Baren Forum to try his hand at woodblock prints. Other artists who inspire him are Tokuriki Tomikichiro, Kiyoshi Saito, Koshiro Onchi, Masao Maeda, Umetarô Azechi and other Sosaku Hanga artists. Like them he carves and prints his own work.

Tom Kristensen (1962) My parents migrated to Australia in the year of my birth. My father grew up in a fishing village in the north of Denmark. My mother grew up in war-torn Düsseldorf in Germany. They came to make a new life in an ancient land. My father was an architect and my mother was a potter. As creative people they helped to establish a new type of "free school", where children would be encouraged to explore their own creativity. My brother and sister spent most of our school days churning out artworks and building tree houses. Our holidays were spent under canvas at the seaside and this is the landscape that I love.
Later in life I went to University to study Science. My degree was in biology: botany and ecology. My interest in the natural world and my practical background soon had me working with my hands and back in the garden. I have spent much of the last 20 years building gardens large and small. This has been a creative outlet together with a career in music. I have always had an urge to combine my interests. In the landscape print I am able to mix a little of everything.
My belief is that art should reflect the times. Just as the Japanese artists of Edo times were quick to toy with telescopes and microscopes, I am also intrigued by current technology. My first print was of a medical catastrophe as seen by Xray. I went on to do a print of an image of Saturn taken by the Cassini space probe. In September of 2004 I started work on my Green Island series. These are images based on my digital photography and they carry the unmistakable signs of computer manipulation. In redesigning the landscape from a set of "filtered" shapes a new type of beauty emerges. While I embrace new technology I make use of the old methods and traditional materials. Thirty-six views will be made, using Japanese tools, mulberry washi and mineral pigments. The prints will be made from 4 to 6 blocks in an edition of 25 copies. Each view will illustrate some unique aspect of the island. Inspiration will come from the history of the place, from people past and present, from the geology, geography, ecology, botany, zoology, or from the salt air itself. Each print will come in a glassine folder bearing a short explanation of the picture.

Hopefully, the Green Island series will deliver a sense of both the beauty I see in the landscape, and the beauty I find in the process of making woodblock prints.

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