Shozo Koike biography
Shozo was born in Japan in Okaya (Nagano), in the mountains, on the shores of Lake Suwako, a territory that is called the Switzerland of Japan due to the purity of its water and air.
His first encounter with art was as a child, fascinated by the works of the great masters of impressionism, known from books in the library.
Inspired by the autumn colors of the apple trees, symbolic of his region, he experiments with oil painting. He begins to paint in moments free from the studio. The work created participates in the national school painting competition on the subject Landscape and wins the first prize.
The passion for painting, from that moment, guides the most important moments of his life.
In Tokyo he attended the Taiheiyo Academy of Fine Arts, deepened his knowledge of Western art and participated in the first group exhibitions. In the Japanese capital he works with the most famous fine arts shop Lemon Gasui, and during a collaboration for an important exhibition on Western art he has the opportunity to meet the world of restoration for the first time.
Fascinated by the art of reviving paintings, he moved to Italy, to Florence, to graduate from the Palazzo Spinelli Institute for Restoration and follow the drawing course at the Academy of Fine Arts.
For twenty years in Italy, he has worked as a painter and restorer. He brings his love for Italy to Japan with personal exhibitions, characterized by his meticulous and realistic style that owes so much to the masters of the Italian nineteenth century. Two of his works were chosen for the cover of the novel Italian Fantastic Symphony by the writer Yasuo Uchida, published in 2004 in Japan.
In 2010 he moved to Casale Monferrato where he continues to paint, restore and teach traditional Japanese sumi-e painting.
And when asked what is painting for you? the answer can only be my life!
What is Sumi-e 墨絵
The Japanese term sumi-e (墨絵) indicates a form of painting that is done with black ink (sumi) in various dilutions. Sumi-e is the art that represents harmony through the use of ink, water and paper.
The brush is the tool that allows you to bring sumi (ink) with all its gradations onto paper. The sumi-e philosophy is revealed in the white space which gives harmony to the painted forms.
It is the world of black and white, but also the territory of shades of gray, capable of restoring the sensations of colors on the car.
The traced signs cannot be corrected, this requires concentration, dedication and a lot of practice, one must not paint to demonstrate skill, but to express oneself.
Description of the courses
The lessons want to bring you closer to Japanese art and culture. A different method, learning to observe from nature and to draw with a brush and shades of black.
Through the techniques and the traditional style we learn the characteristics and the ancient history of sumi-e.
The basic lessons of the meetings are:
history of sumi-e painting
the preparation and use of the brush
the technique and attitude to paint
the importance of composition.
traditional painting (bamboo, orchid, chrysanthemum, plum)