Yoshisuke Funasaka ((舩坂 芳助, Japan, b. 1939) is a living contemporary woodblock and silkscreen artist known for his repeated depictions and variations of the same image or object.
Yoshisuke Funasaka was born in 1939 in the Gifu prefecture of Japan. He is the son of the successful painter, Funasaka Masayoshi. Funasaka attended the prestigious Tama University of Art in Tokyo, Japan. As a student in Japan, Funasaka worked part-time at a linoleum supplier and practiced carving designs in the linoleum to make linocut prints.
Funasaka began his artistic career making and showing his prints in regional galleries and shows. Funasaka became a member of the Japan Print Association in 1960, and is still an active member of the group today. In 1967, the young artist held his first solo show. Soon after, he was invited to exhibit his work at many international galleries. In 1970, Funasaka won a prize at the Tokyo International Print Biennale. In 1976, Funasaka received a fellowship from the Japanese Government Oversea Training Program for Artists, which allowed him to study art in the United States and Europe where he was exposed to Western forms of traditional and modern art. By the 1970s, Funasaka taught printmaking at institutions like the Asahi Culture Center. He continues to teach printmaking and art, helping integrate Japanese tradition and art to the West. Since the late 1970s, Funasaka has exhibited with the College Women’s Association of Japan print show.
Funasaka has created over a 1,000 prints in his lifetime. He is known for repeating the same image through different variations in color, design, composition, and texture. His most used imagery is a lemon, a hole, and unique linear designs. Funasaka has depicted the lemon in his work since 1957. Funasaka works with silkscreen and traditional methods of Japanese woodblock printmaking. The artist also combines the two techniques to give depth and texture to his prints. Funasaka signs his prints with his name, “Y. Funasaka.”
Yoshisuke Funasaka has exhibited his work internationally and received numerous prizes at international art fairs. Funasaka’s work can be found in numerous collections and major museums worldwide including the Brooklyn Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Bibliothequè Nationale de France in Paris, British Museum, Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Hara Museum of Art in Tokyo, and the Shizuoka Museum of Art. Recently, Funasaka has shown in numerous gallery shows in Japan, including a major show at the Fukuoka Art Museum in 2010 titled Ma The Space Enlightened: Yoshisuke Funasaka and Katsu Murakami. Yoshisuke Funasaka currently lives and works in Japan.