Since childhood, Takuji Hamanaka has been intrigued by the masters of the Japanese woodcut, including Hiroshige. This fascination led him to the Adachi, a Tokyo printmaking studio where new generations are trained in traditional techniques. Inspired by Kenichi Kubota and other masters at the Adachi, who, “set the standard for printing for me,” he made reproductions of ukiyo-e prints for three years and gained solid foundational skills as a printer. After the Adachi, as his interests shifted to contemporary art, he worked for another Tokyo workshop where he editioned for contemporary printmakers.
Hamanaka then moved to New York and joined Watanabe Studio Ltd. in Brooklyn. There, in the early 1990s he collaborated on a number of woodcut projects, primarily with Sol LeWitt, but also with other artists, including Donald Sultan. In 1993 he moved to Greenpoint, where he started to work with artists on his own. Publishers have sought him out for his superb skills with woodcut, as did Baron/Boisanté Editions for their projects with Donald Baechler and Brian Belott. Like many of his fellow printers, Hamanaka is also an artist who combines printmaking with collage using Gampi papers to create complex, biomorphic images. –RW