Osaka Brand Committee
Outenin Temple
Outenin Temple
digmeout (Dig-Me-Out) Installment 1
Avant-Garde x Entertaining x Open-Air Theater → Ishinha
Etching x Pastel → Sumako Yasui
Artist x Craftsperson → Yoko Matsumoto
Jokes x Art → Gendai Bijutsu Nitouhei
Sculpture x Flexibility → Kohei Nawa
Installations x Images → Chie Matsui
World Exhibition (Banpaku) x Future Ruins → Kenji Yanobe
Drive x Noise → Rogue’s Gallery
Self-Portrait x Art History → Yasumasa Morimura
 Listen (= Sound) x View (= Art) → Yukio Fujimoto
Yodogawa x Trash x Art→Yodogawa Technique
Biolgical field
Water city
Osaka Kaleidoscope
#10 Etching x Pastel → Sumako Yasui

Sumako Yasui

  Combining the unique qualities of copperplate printing; a hard, dry texture and soft flowing lines, with soft pastel hues, Sumako Yasui is known for her prints. These works often feature trees, flowers, or young girls at play (or maybe these characters are fairies?) Such elements hypnotize viewers, inducing dream-like feelings of both comfort and uncertainty. This dichotomy of drowsiness and anxiousness cohabits within Yasui’s somewhat melancholic world, and it is this that makes her work so attractive.
Sumako Yasui was first introduced to copperplate printing while a student at the Osaka University of Arts. After experimenting with a number of different artistic genres, she decided that copperplate etching, done by scratching a copperplate's surface with a pointed needle, best suited her personality. She is drawn to the craftsperson-like repetition and patience that this art form requires, just as she enjoys working on needlework in her spare time. When commencing her studies, however, Yasui had no desire to become a determined artist. Rather, she chose the Osaka University of Arts because she "wanted to go co-ed after spending years at a girls' school." At university, she just loved reading books, composing stories and indulging in her own daydreams. "I was never sure what I really wanted to do," says Yasui. "I started exhibiting just because it seemed to be the natural thing to do (as an artist). I don't know how I have managed to continue my career up until now. I don't overly force myself, and my personality is such that I don’t make plans. Maybe that's why I have been able to produce work that reflects who I am." This modest commentary, however, shows Yasui is capable of concentrating on the essentials. It is this ability that has been such a major artistic strength for Sumako Yasui.

Taken from "Yawarakana Haru-no Umi” (“Tender Spring Ocean”) (published by U-time Publishing, 2007)

  Yasui's work is also characterized by the use of pastels, which she adds by hand to each print individually. "I have always loved pastels, even since I was a member of my high school's art club," explains Yasui. "At first, I was not sure if it was the right thing to do, to use pastels on my prints. But I liked it, and people around me also approved of it, so I kind of assumed it was an acceptable practice. There aren't many people who would hand-color with pastels, you know." Usually, when colors are added prints, they are applied directly to the plates so that the finished print will have rather flat, solid tones. Yasui's print work, however, has light and soft textures; which are largely the result of her use of hand-coloring techniques.
Yasui currently leads a busy life. She holds 10 or more domestic exhibitions each year, also being featured in various print media formats including books, magazines, posters and calendars. Questioned regarding future goals, Yasui indicated that she does not plan to start anything new; rather she wants to continue perfecting her current style. In private, she has recently enjoyed mountaineering. Her prints, whose motif is a forest setting, reflect the recent thoughts and feelings of Yasui, who has been inspired by natural mountain forest scenes she has encountered.

"Potsun" (“Isolated”)
(2008 / new work)

"Daisuki-desu" (“I Really Like You”)
(2008 / new work work)

Cover art for "Stories from the World"
(published by POPLAR Publishing, 2008)

Jun 7,2008
Text by Takafumi Kobuki, a freelance art writer

Sumako Yasui Profile

Sumako Yasui Collection "Yawarakana Haru-no Umi" (“Tender Spring Ocean”)
(published by U-time Publishing, 2007)

Born in Osaka, Sumako Yasui held her first individual exhibition in 1984 at the Hiramatsu Gallery (Osaka). In addition to her annual spring exhibition at the GALERIE petit bois (Osaka), she has presented work at many individual/group exhibitions. Collections of her work have been published in book format, including "Yawarakana Haru-no Umi" (“Tender Spring Ocean”) (published by U-time Publishing, 2007). Yasui has also provided prints for the covers of many novels. These include those of Ryu Murakami ("69 Sixty Nine," "Subeteno otoko-wa shomohin-de-aru" (“All Men Are Expendable”), Manji Nagakura and Eiichi Ikegami. Her work has also been featured on posters and calendars.

Exhibition information
Yasui’s work is currently featured as illustrations for a series of articles entitled "Tamaniwa tegami-wo" (“Send Me a Letter Sometimes”). This series appears in the Tuesday evening edition of the Asahi Shimbun (newspaper).
Her recent exhibitions include the following:
Kameyama Gallery (Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka) June 19 - 27,
2008 GALERIE VEGA (Ikeda-shi, Osaka) July 9 - 14, 2008
Author Profile
Takafumi Kobuki
Worked as an editor for an information magazine and became a freelancer in 2005. Writes art-related articles for Kyoto Shimbun, Bijutsu Techo, Pia Kansai, ELLE, artscape (online) and more.
Personal website: “Katte-ni RECOMMEND”
Personal blog: “Takafumi Kobuki: Art-no Kobujime”