Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto Biography

Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto



Printmaker Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto was born in Muroran, Hokkaido province, Japan, in 1949. Though he exhibited an early interest in art, he pursued marine biology at Nihon University. Following graduation he took courses in woodblock printmaking from master printmaker and painter Toshi Yoshida, studying at various times from 1974 to 1984. He would eventually become a full-time artist. 

In addition to traditional woodcut techniques, Okamoto will sometimes incorporate other printmaking mediums to his works, including silkscreen and the inclusion of gofun powder or gold leaf. In the mid-1980s he began working in series, a la the Japanese masters of previous generations. Among these series are "Children of Asia", "First Love", "White Fox", "Clown Series", and "Fossils". Known in particular for his images of children and mythical young women, his traditional woodcut work is equally significant, depicting scenes of villages, landscapes, and the daily lives of Japanese people in compositions that are among the finest in contemporary Japanese prints. 

Okamoto exhibits regularly with the prestigious College Women's Association of Japan, a non-profit organization that began holding print exhibitions at the Tokyo American Club in 1956. His print "Shy Clown" was chosen by the organization as the imperial gift print for Her Majesty the Empress Michiko in 1980. That same year, Okamoto began teaching, having been invited by Yoshida to teach in his place at the Mendocino Art Center in California, USA.

Ryusei Yoshimi Okamoto continues to live and work in Kanagawa, Japan.