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MITSUO & TSURUYE

Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2012

Scrimshaw on mammoth ivory on Goncalo Alves wood mount
with ivory, ebony and abalone accents.
6 5/8"W x 3 7/8"H x 1 1/4"D           $10,000/NFS

Private Collection

This engraving was juried into the prestigious Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2012. This statewide, juried triennial exhibition features artists from the islands of O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i along with portrait subjects who live and work in the state and have a significant connection to the artist. The 2012 Challenge comprises 59 works from 57 individual artists. Those familiar with the history of this exhibition look forward to each new incarnation, anticipating a group of new faces who represent the remarkable people of Hawai‘i.

The artists whose works were selected for the 2012 Challenge are bonded by the desire to transpose the human likeness and interpret each sitter through paint, pastel, graphite, watercolor, stone, clay, wood or mixed media into the final result of a finished portrait. The exhibition runs through March 11, 2012 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, Maui, and then will travel to the Honolulu Academy of the Arts on Oahu, opening in May and running through September 2012.

Mitsuo and Tsuruye Hamasu are my in-laws of 25 years. Mitsuo is a member of the famed 100th Infantry Battalion. Originally I thought to portray only him, but soon realized that without Tsuruye the picture would be incomplete. The piece was designed with a strong Japanese influence in mind. In Japanese culture cranes symbolize peace, longevity, good fortune and prosperity. Bamboo is also a symbol of longevity. Mitsuo and Tsuruye have been married for 63 years. They raised seven children; all have become exceptional adults. The Hamasu family crest, or mon, is engraved at the lower right. In this portrait of Mitsuo and Tsuruye I’ve attempted to convey their strength of character, their quiet dignity, their generosity of spirit, and by doing so express my deep love and respect for them both. Domo arigato.


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