Kiyoshi Saito: Bunraku Puppet
Artist: Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997)
Title: Bunraku Puppet of a Woman
What at first glance seems to be a woman in profile with a contemplative expression is in fact a bunraku puppet, her face and neck in bright white and her clothes quite voluminous. Saito’s unique use of the woodgrain and mastery of graphic impact is on evident display here. The sleeve that appears black is actually striped. Bunraku is an Edo period art form that creates theater with dolls that are half-life-size, and are manipulated by three performers. The expertise of the puppeteers and the puppet-makers create performances that are surprisingly moving and emotional. To perform as a main puppeteer and control the movement of the head and right arm, 22 years of experience are required
Date: Ca. 1960s
Dimensions: 43 x 29.2 cm
Literature: Kiyoshi Saito Retrospective,Fukushima,1997, ill.2-162. See Cat. 93 in Rhiannon Paget’s Saitô Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening (2021), page 152.
Signature: Kiyoshi Saito (in pencil)