On the Cutting Edge, marking an exceptional cross-cultural exchange, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) Print Show and celebrates the generous donation of prints exhibited in the show to the collections of the Library of Congress. The contemporary prints, donated by the artists themselves and dealers, add new depth to the Library’s exceptional collection of Japanese prints.
The CWAJ has become an internationally-renowned showcase for contemporary Japanese print art, known as hanga. In 2005, its fiftieth year, CWAJ received more than 800 prints for selection. From these, an international jury selected 221 outstanding examples, 212 of which were donated to the Library and are mounted in this exhibition. The prints represent a rich spectrum of styles and subjects, carrying forward many hanga traditions while embracing new cutting edge works by both master and emerging artists. Among artists featured in the CWAJ show for the first time are Yukie Kishi, Tomomi Miyano, and Yoshiyuki Someya. The exhibition presents their work along with such long-established artists as Toko Shinoda, Reika Iwami, Fumio Kitaoka, and Tadashi Nakayama.
This important acquisition brings a fresh infusion of visual art to the Library, updating its superb collection of Japanese prints from the Edo Period to the 21th century, as well as its extensive holdings of contemporary artist’s prints from around the world.