University of Manitoba - School of Art -



 An Obscure Miracle of Connection

School of Art Special Collections Gallery
January 5 - February 2, 2018
Curated by Noor Bhangu

Image: Noburo Sawai, The Funeral, 1973, copper etching and woodblock print on paper, 22/100, 65 x 51 cm. Collection of School of Art Gallery.

An Obscure Miracle of Connection explores select works by the Japanese-Canadian printmaker, Noboru Sawai (1931-2016), by studying the materialization of diaspora and hybridity in print-based media. Known for combining techniques of woodblock printing and intaglio, together with a penchant for the erotic, he is remembered as one of the finest print artists in Canada.

This exhibition focuses on specific points of connection within the artist's oeuvre while deliberating on the impact of crossed histories and crossed cultures in the Canadian context.

Noburo Sawai was born in Takamatsu, Japan in 1931 and came to North America in 1946. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1966 at Augsburg College and received his Master's degree in Fine arts from the University of Minnesota in 1969. He then returned to Japan to study traditional woodblock printmaking under Toshi Yoshida at the Hanga Institute in Tokyo. In 1971 he began teaching printmaking and drawing at University of Calgary where he taught for over 20 years. He also taught woodblock printing in Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung and Baker Lake. In 1981 he established Sawai Atelier in Vancouver, a publishing house that specialized in relief and intaglio printing. Noburo Sawai died in Vancouver in 2016 at the age of 85.

With support from Young Canada Works - Building Careers in Heritage

Tour with Curator
January 11, 12:30 pm

Exhibition Essay
Noor Bhangu, An Obscure Miracle of Connection [pdf]