Inuit Prints: Japanese Inspiration: Early Printmaking in the Canadian Arctic
By Norman Vorano
Essay by Asato Ikeda and Ming Tiampo, and contributions from Kananginak Pootoogook
January 2011, ISBN 978-0-660-19970-2
100 pp., 71 illustrations, 23 x 25 cm, paperback
Some 50 years ago, the remote Inuit community of Cape Dorset in the Canadian Arctic was introduced to the ancient traditions of Japanese printmaking by a Canadian artist, James Houston, who had studied printmaking in Japan with the revered master printmaker Un’ichi Hiratsuka. The remarkable story of that artistic encounter and its extraordinary results are the focus of this groundbreaking exhibition catalogue.
With two major essays and detailed captions, the book features 49 exquisite and rare artworks (including Inuit prints from 1957 to 1963 and Japanese prints that were brought to Cape Dorset in 1959, as well as never-before-seen works by James Houston), and shows how Cape Dorset graphic artists selectively borrowed and actively transformed Japanese influences. It includes the voice of Cape Dorset printmaker Kananginak Pootoogook, as well as previously unpublished historic photographs from Japan and Cape Dorset.