Japan Print Association Executive Committee and Japan Print Association will present an international prints exposition, "Prints Tokyo 2012" for our 80th anniversary of the foundation of the association.


Prints Tokyo 2012 International Print Exhibition Tokyo 2012

Japan Print Association Executive Committee and Japan Print Association will present an international prints exposition, "Prints Tokyo 2012" for our 80th anniversary of the foundation of the association. The exhibition will take place at a designated space to be announced, and will be held from the 5th to 19th of October, 2012 in Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. The exhibition will make possible the gathering of works by the finest artists from around the world who have been recommended by the members of our association.

- Exhibition Period
5th,October, 2012(Fri.)~19th,October, 2012(Fri.)(closed on 8th Oct. and 15Th Oct)

- Organized
Japan Print Association Commitee for Prints Tokyo 2012

- Place
Gallery space of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum

- Supported for Prints Tokyo 2012
Tokyo Metropolitan Government,
NHK Public Welfsre Organization,
Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts

- Sponsored for PRINTS TOKYO 2012
The Kao Foundation for Arts and Science

The Exposition Entry Guidelines

Prints (including digital prints)

- Exhibitor
118 of the finest artists from around the world who have been recommended by the members of our association.

- Size
Exhibition wall width: under 150cm

- Works

Objectives of Prints Tokyo 2012-07-10

 The Japan Print Association has continued to promote print arts as well as inspire and educate young artists these past 80 years in Japan, the country of prints. Our activities also reached out internationally; Prints Tokyo 2007, with Jyunji Amano as the chief executive, was the first international competition since the Tokyo Biennial that took place in the heart of Tokyo. Eight hundred thirty-four artists from 50 different countries applied, and through a strict judgement process, only 120 works were selected for the exhibition, which drew an audience of 13,573 people.
 The 80th anniversary of Prints Tokyo exhibition will not be competitive but instead will consist of 118 print works from all around the world by artists recommended by members of the Japan Print Association. In addition there will be a symposium with international discussion. Our association consists of 400 members, many who have international connections through solo and group exhibitions as well as workshops, symposiums, charity events and volunteer works. Our association has also been encouraging members to join international programs as trainees and by such international connections we hope to hold exhibitions full of new and fresh perspectives.
 In order to allow for more members to have the chance to recommend their favourite artists, the executive team decided that each member could choose up to three artists. Further adjustments were made when duplicate recommendations were made by different members. This method of artist selection avoids the bias of a judging panel and gives our artists a chance to present a broader range of new ideas to the audience than is usually the case with jury selections. The Japan Print Association is a group made of members with distinctive personalities and with their unique perspective we hope to broaden the “standard” evaluation of art and open up to a new future of printmaking.
 The recent Japan earthquake, which caused profound tragedies and revealed many socio-political problems, was an event that reminded us all about the precious benefit of strong human connections. This kind of human connection was what made this collection of artworks possible; a recommender, using their own personal viewpoint to pick out artists from anywhere in the world, contacting the artists personally, framing their works, and caring for it until it is shipped back to the artist, thus creating a special bond. We believe this personal connection between the recommender and the artists themselves is one of the most important features of this exhibition.
 In this auspicious year of the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Japan Print Association, executive members are honoured to celebrate the indomitable spirit of the members that has made this organization so vibrant.

Prints Tokyo 2012 Chief Executive, Ryuta ENDO


 I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all the artists and recommenders of the artists exhibiting at “Prints Tokyo 2012”.

 I will leave the detailed announcements regarding the exhibition for later as I would first like to give a brief history and description of our organization that I hope will leave you with a deeper understanding of the Japan Print Association.

 The Japan Print Association was established in 1931 by the 29 members of Japan Creative Print Association (that included Kakuzo Ishii, Kanae Yamamoto, Kazuma Oda, Koshiro Onchi), the six members of the Western Prints Group (including Saburosuke Okada and Sakujiro Okubo), and six other individual artists. Saburousuke Okada was appointed as chairman and the association was made possible through the passion and solid co-operation of these artists.

 The association has held an annual exhibition since the year of its founding (except for 1934 due to preparations for the Paris exhibition, and 1945 due to the war). This year marks the 80th exhibition.
 The Japan Print Association was formed to assume the role of the Japan Creative Print Association. It did so with three principal aims: one, to lobby for the acceptance of prints in exhibitions at the Imperial Arts Academy; two, to lobby the Tokyo University of Fine Arts to establish a Printmaking faculty; three, the promotion of Japanese printmaking internationally and overseeing international exchange exhibitions. The Imperial Arts Academy soon accepted the recommendation of the newly founded association and with great effort by senior students the art universities soon successfully integrated printmaking into their programs and courses, thus raising the status of printmaking within the arts.

 The aim to promote Japanese printmaking throughout Japan and across the world began in earnest with the exhibition held in Paris, 1934. Thereafter, from 1936 the “Contemporary Japanese Printmaking Exhibition” travelled to various states of the USA, London, Lyon, Warsaw, and Berlin. After the war, exhibitions were held in Australia, Mexico, San Salvador, USA, Israel, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, New Zealand and others. The association has also hosted exhibitions of contemporary international prints for show in Japan, beginning with an exhibition of works from France in 1976, followed by Australia (1977), China (1980), Mexico (1991), and Thailand (2006). In 2008 we included a show of Contemporary American Printmaking at our regular annual exhibition.
The association has also initiated several international open competitions: “Hanga Annual” (from 1985 for three years) and “Prints Tokyo 2007” (competition and symposium).

 This year the 80th annual exhibit “Prints Tokyo 2012” continues the quest for further internationalization. It is a special exhibition that takes on the latest developments in the art of printmaking but it is also a bridge to building international relationships, thus fulfilling one of the main objectives set out at the establishment of the association.

 Today the Japan Print Association comprises five honorary members, 220 regular members, and 197 associate members. Throughout our 90-year history we have been custodians of the art of printmaking, from the ukiyoe culture of the past, to the legacy of our founders and on to creating history by the encouragement and promotion of new artists. The Japan Print Association is the sole organization in Japan supporting the art of printmaking, however not merely as a “guild” but as a force to advance the world of the contemporary printmaking both in Japan and internationally.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge and extend my sincere thanks to the foundations, institutions and other participants that have kindly supported the association to fully realize this project.

Prints Tokyo 2012
Tadayoshi Nakabayashi ‒Japan Print Association Director ‒

Executive Committee


- Ryuta ENDO


- Yasuyuki UEDA
- Marie OKADA
- Nagisa YAGI


- Hisashi KURACHI
- Noriaki KONDOH
- Kuniko SATAKE
- Misako SHIMIZU
- Toshiya SUZUKI
- Masaharu SEKI
- Yoshikatsu TAMEKANE
- Yoichiro NISHIKAWA
- Tomoko BABA
- Taisuke YUKI

About Japan Print Association

 Japan Print Association was founded in 1931 by the amalgamation of contemporary printmaker artists such as the 28 members of Japan Creative Prints Association (including ISHII Tsuruzo, ODA Kazuma, ONCHI Koshiro), the four members of Western-Style Prints Society (including OKADA Saburonosuke, OKUBO Sakujiro), as well as 11 independent artists (including UMEHARA Ryuzaburo, HASEGAWA Kiyoshi).
 Since the founding year the association has held an annual exhibition (except for 1934 due to preparation for an exhibition in Paris, and in 1945 due to confusion after the war). This year we are proud to present our 80th exhibition. We have reached out internationally beginning with "Origins of the Modern Japanese Prints Exhibition" in Paris, 1934 with support from the Frenchgovernment. Since 1936 through to last year we presented "Modern Japanese Prints Exhibition", which toured the United States, London, Lyon, Warsaw, and Berlin. After the war we presented exhibitions in Australia, Mexico, El-Salvador, U.S.A., Israel, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, and many other countries. We have contributed to the internationalization of prints within Japan by holding special exhibitions for prints from Thailand (2006) and modern prints from America (2008), as well as administrating "Prints Tokyo 2007" and International Prints Symposium in 2007. Being the only association for print arts in Japan, we have brought our professionalism to influence remarkable developments in the art world inside and outside Japan.
 Today, the association comprises 225 members and 199 submembers.The annual recruitment for the exhibition category aims to find new talent covering a broad range of artistic expression ranging from traditional styles to anything in the contemporary idiom. We aim to exhibit creative works from around the world regardless of the artists' academic status.