MISSION — An assistant professor of printmaking at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland is participating as an artist-in-residence at Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts.
Yoshihiro Kitai, who is originally from Japan, moved to the United States in 1994 after studying at Tajimi Ceramic School in Gifu. He earned a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (2002) and received a master’s in printmaking and drawing from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2004.
Kitai will participate in an artist talk during a public reception. The free event is Thursday, Aug. 22 from 5-7 p.m. at Crow’s Shadow, 48004 Saint Andrew’s Road, Mission.
During the two-week residency, Kitai is developing limited-edition prints. They are being hand-pulled by Judith Baumann, master printer at Crow’s Shadow. The final prints will enter the permanent collection, as well as be available for purchase by the public.
Kitai was selected as one of the 2019 Golden Spot residency award recipients at Crow’s Shadow. It’s funded with support from the Ford Family Foundation. Crow’s Shadow began presenting the annual awards in 2010 to support regional artist residencies.
Represented by Froelick Gallery in Portland, Kitai primarily makes works on paper, using drawing, painting, and printmaking, combined with the sensibilities of practice and repetition he learned making pottery. He frequently uses a Japanese type of pigment similar to watercolor called gansai — creating tiny dots or brush strokes meditatively repeated into seas of rhythmic patterns.
Kitai emphasizes surface and material contrast by using passages of gold or silver leaf, which evoke the stylized clouds of traditional Japanese screen paintings. Also, utilizing a limited color palette, Kitai said, highlights the subtle shift in gradients as the paint in each brushstroke fades after its initial saturation. He said the resultant works feel simultaneously restrained and joyful, eliciting a sense of orderly quietude.