Morito Toyonaga [ 1976 - Present ]


Morito Toyonaga (b. 1976) is based in Okinawa. He studied sculpture at the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts but works across many mediums, including print, ceramics, glass painting and lacquer, often collaborating with other artists and craftspeople. He has exhibited widely across Japan and his works have regularly been selected for the Japan Folk Art Exhibition. This is Toyonaga’s first exhibition in the UK.  

Morito Toyonaga is a wood-cut printmaker, a craft that has existed in Japan since its migration from China in the 700s CE and which Toyonaga came to during his early school years. Many of his works take inspiration from the accounts in the Old Testament, or other historical works of literature such as myths, folklore and fairytales, but his simple forms and cartoon-like draughtsmanship create a picture book narrative that feels contemporary and playful. The works are joyfully illustrative beyond a simple accompaniment to text, and so, although visually and stylistically different to Japan’s ukiyo-e woodblock printing tradition, the artist maintains the artforms intentions to communicate and educate.