Yuri Shimojo


2021, 8.5 x 11 inches
Serigraph print on Japanese Torinoko paper with hand torn edges. Signed and numbered by the artist. Printed by Keigo Prints, NY.
Edition of 100

“The SUMI and SHU series was born in 2000 from my fascination with these inks and their intricate ties to history, including shamanic rituals around the world. The power of these two colors represent the unique Japanese aesthetics and, to me illustrate the yin and yang balance of the universe.

SUMI, the Japanese word for black ink, are sticks made mainly of soot and animal glue, and SHU, the Japanese word for cinnabar ink, are made of sulfide mineral. 

To make ink from these sticks, I continuously grind them against an ink stone, one that is part of my history. This time consuming but meditative process is an essential and ceremonial component of this process. A small quantity of water is added to produce a dark liquid, which is then applied with an ink brush.

In my editions, I work closely with a master printmaker to reproduce my original paintings. We choose the printing ink tones that most faithfully match the original ones. The egg-colored Japanese paper is called Torinoko. We print on the back side of the paper to get the fluffy organic texture. Hand torn edges adds a sense of charming imperfections. It’s a labor of love, from beginning to end.” Yuri Shimojo