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HAZAMA by A-taro Matsuo

In the context of A-taro Matsuo’s (b.1977) HAZAMA series, the artist predominantly employs Japanese washi paper, occasionally integrating "gassen- shi" paper. While paper quality does hold significance, the pivotal aspect of his artworks rests in the paper's inherent transparency. This essentially revolves around the utilization of delicately thin paper.

The historical lineage of paper, originating in China and evolving into Japanese washi paper, which subsequently diffused into European and American contexts, encapsulates a transformative symbol, emblematic of Asia's cultural and industrial representation – an entity that played a pivotal role in reshaping the global landscape.

The artist's attention converged on both the material essence of paper and the currents of cultural evolution. The inception of using burnt paper's scorch marks as a creative element stemmed from his aspiration to produce original monotype works, steering away from standardized print reproduction. A pivotal juncture arose when, in light of impending marriage, he decided to incinerate his cherished collection of adult magazines from his youth.

_Hazama - Front and Back Squares_ by Ataro Matsuo, 2017, Collage of Burned Paper, Japanese

Remarkably, some pages escaped the blaze. Upon close examination of these remnants, a fascinating phenomenon unfolded – pages bearing identical burnt patterns, which, when juxtaposed, unveiled disparate nude photographic images. This intersection marked the link where this phenomenon intertwined with his conception of printmaking as integral to his artistic narrative.

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