Kozo is an exhibition of works on handmade Japanese echizen kozo washi paper using techniques including dyed paper pulp poured into moulds and gouache paint on paper made by the artist. Richard Gorman made the paperworks at Iwano Heyzabouro paper mill in Imadate Fukui in West Japan over a period of ten years 1999 - 2009.
The gouaches, 63 x 49 cm, have grown out of a personal research to find an authentic non-narrative means of pictorial expression. This enquiry has led Gorman to look at diverse connected images such as early Italian renaissance painting, for example, Giovanni Bellini, Andrea Mantegna and Piero della Francesca, and Japanese Ukiyo-e ‘floating world’ woodblock prints, as well as Henri Matisse graphic works, including the ‘Jazz’ series 1947.
These works are underpinned by a fairly rigorous geometrical logic, which far from acting as a constraint, have the effect of liberating the work into its own world of colour, edge, equilibrium and disequilibrium. The linear geometric under-drawing acts as an armature on which to hang the bright flat interlocking shapes on the paper surface.
All Wall is made up of a series of forty individual sheets of handmade paper, 49 x 63 cm, resulting in a final dimension of 250 x 488 cm. ‘All Wall’ was made by pouring pre-dyed washi paper pulp into moulds placed over freshly made wet paper sheets. It was last exhibited at the Koriyama City Museum of Art, Japan, in 2003.