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Chinese Dancer

Chinese Dancer, ca. 1960, Woodcut
Naoko Matsubara (Japanese, born 1937)


Naoko Matsubara is a contemporary printmaker who works in a traditional Japanese woodblock style. Influenced by the mingei tradition (or folk art style), she creates both abstract and representational work, often in brilliant colors. Many of Matsubara’s prints feature shrines and temples, a reference to her own father who was a Shinto priest in Kyoto, Japan. Matsubara grew up in Kyoto and graduated from the Kyoto Academy of Fine Arts in 1960. She received her MFA in 1962 from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on a Fulbright Travel Grant, and went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London. Although she is most well known for her prints, she is also a painter and a sculptor. She lived in the U.S. and Japan for many years before moving to Oakville, Canada in 1972, where she still lives and works.