The 6th Tokyo International Mini-Print Triennial 2018


The 6th Tokyo International Mini-Print Triennial 2018

The Tokyo International Mini-Print Triennial was launched in 1995 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Tama Art University’s foundation, and has now reached its sixth edition. Starting with the fifth Triennial, which coincided with the university’s 80th anniversary, we accept submissions through a worldwide, online open call, and have also begun accepting works in digital print form. We received nearly 2,000 print works from 94 countries and regions. At the Triennial, we will exhibit 324 of these works, which have passed a first review based on a photograph of the work and the second review of the original work.

Over the 23 years since the first Triennial in 1995, the intense social changes and shifts in the global power structure at the close of the 20th century have continued into the 21st, and there are calls for various changes and developments in the role and potential of art as well. These changes can be seen in the Triennial, as new generations of participants submit different kinds of works, and in addition to the distinctive characteristics of art from various countries and regions, there is a strong sense of possibilities for fusion and generation of a new, international sensibility for a new era.

We hope to encourage the creation and expansion of new artistic expression, and to be a driving force in changing perspectives on art and the world, through the incorporation of various new approaches and devices that make use of new and old technologies and social systems, including submission, collection and distribution of works via the Internet and by traditional post, so as to bring the magic of printmaking to a wider audience.

Above all, we will be delighted if Triennial attendees can feel the effervescent artistic energy emanating from each work, full of creativity and sensitivity, like stars in the small universe of mini-prints.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the artists who submitted works and to all the groups, organizations and stakeholders that gave us crucial assistance in staging the Triennial with their cooperation, sponsorship, subsidization and support.

Fujitani Nobuto
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Tama Art University

Comment on the Exhibition

This is the sixth edition of the Tokyo International Mini-Print Triennial. While many of the international printmaking competition/exhibitions held in various places in Japan at one time have been disappearing one after another, we are proud that this one, while mini-sized and organized by a single art university, has lasted through various trials. The constraint of small-sized pictures, in that everything in them is condensed, may actually bring out the unique charm of printmaking to maximum effect.

This time we received numerous submissions – 1,733 from abroad and 194 from Japan – a testament to the degree of ambition this Triennial arouses in printmakers. Their small-sized creations conveyed not only the diversity of artists’ personalities and techniques, but also the richness of each one’s cultural climate, rooted in different historical contexts, and were highly inspiring to the jury.

In the first screening, works by 324 artists (269 from overseas, 55 from Japan) from 81 countries were selected from among entries submitted in data form, and 19 prizewinners were selected in the second screening, in which their actual works were viewed.

The Grand-Prix went to At the Bed 1801, by Jinhye Kim (South Korea), a female figure precisely rendered using the technique of mezzotint, and is a static composition with intriguingly mysterious imagery. It makes a powerful impact with the kind of resonant poetry that only a monochromatic work can convey. I am highly impressed by the unique vision of the artist, which imbues a robust, monumental-looking figure with an air of humor as well as a creeping sense of dread.

Angelina Tsoumanino (Greece) won the Semi Grand-Prix for Fabric, a work combining copperplate techniques (etching, aquatint, engraving) and linocut, and stands in contrast to the Grand-Prix work with a rougher style that exudes charming nuances. It is also worth noting the unique effect achieved by the inspired juxtaposition of the dress’s rhythmic pattern and the improvised body painting on both arms.

The Without You Scenery by Sugiyama Erika (Japan), also a Semi Grand-Prix winner, is a woodcut that compellingly captures detail and gradation in a way only woodcuts can, with a pale overall palette and subtle changes in tone. The solitary figure leaning against a fence is simplified, like a silhouette, inviting various possible interpretations. What are the symbolic-looking shapes, like the inverted U-shaped black line in front of the arm, or the white circle above? The charm of the allegorical atmosphere is made even stronger by the ambiguity of all the imagery.

In addition to the Grand-Prix and Semi Grand-Prix winners, at the exhibition venue we are sure to see an enormously fertile range of printmaking expression by artists who fully invested their talents in the mini-print format. At the risk of preaching to the choir, in closing let me share my views on printmaking. In printmaking, an artist produces a plate, but the plate is only part of a process, and not a work in and of itself. The artist’s vision is fulfilled through the process of transferring ink from the plate to the paper. That procedure, which is also physical and mysterious, creates a world unique to prints and unlike any other genre. It is the nature of printmaking for the material properties of paper and ink to take on an intimate character before our eyes, and if this is so, the format of the mini-print, which forces us to look even more closely at details, does not actually confine or constrain, but rather heightens the vividness of the mysterious communion of plate and paper. It is only natural that mini-prints are a primary area of endeavor for many printmakers. I hope that this competition and exhibition will be, in its modest way and through the postal service, a hub for international exchange, as well as an opportunity to savor the singular pleasures of the world of mini-prints.

Tama Art University President and art critic
Tatehata Akira


Nationalities 94Countries/Regions/Number of Applications 1,927(Abroad1,733:,Japan:194)/Selected Artists 324(Abroad:269,Japan:55)/Prize Winners 19(Abroad:12,Japan:7)

Countries/Regions Number of Applicants Selected Artists
Japan 194 55
China 180 19
Poland 155 33
Mexico 138 7
India 118 11
Iran 94 3
Thailand 80 19
France 51 9
Turkey 50 1
Italy 41 8
Taiwan 39 6
Bulgaria 38 10
United Kingdom 35 7
Canada 34 10
United States 34 4
Germany 30 2
Indonesia 30 4
Romania 30 3
Russian Federation 29 6
Egypt 27 1
Argentina 26 1
Australia 25 2
Ukraine 22 8
Korea 22 10
Serbia 21 2
Brazil 21 4
Greece 20 2
Bangladesh 20 5
Bosnia and Herzegovina 19 2
Spain 18 4
Ireland 17 1
Croatia 15 1
Malaysia 15 2
Hungary 13 1
Belarus 12 2
Peru 12 1
Finland 10 1
Sweden 10 5
Chile 10 1
Lithuania 9 1
Portugal 9 2
Slovakia 7 1
Colombia 7 2
Latvia 7 2
Austria 7 1
Denmark 7 1
Venezuela 6 1
Countries/Regions Number of Applicants Selected Artists
Czech Republic 6 2
Israel 6 1
Estonia 6 2
Netherlands 5 2
Slovenia 5 1
Switzerland 5 1
Singapore 5 1
Macedonia 4 1
New Zealand 4 2
Hong Kong 4 1
Norway 4 1
Tunisia 4 0
Belgium 3 2
Moldova 3 1
Costa Rica 3 2
Puerto Rico 3 1
Macao 3 1
Cuba 3 1
Nepal 3 1
Kosovo 2 1
Montenegro 2 0
Armenia 2 0
Morocco 2 0
Lebanon 2 1
Georgia 2 1
Albania 1 0
Bahrain 1 0
Dominica 1 0
Ecuador 1 0
Namibia 1 0
Pakistan 1 0
Algeria 1 1
Cyprus 1 1
Iceland 1 1
Jordan 1 1
Panama 1 1
El Salvador 1 1
Iraq 1 1
Kazakhstan 1 1
Kyrgyzstan 1 1
Syrian Arab Republic 1 1
Uruguay 1 1
Bolivia 1 1
Uganda 1 0
Kenya 1 1
Benin 1 0
Botswana 1 0
Total 1927 324

Entry period: (Thu.) January 11, 2018− (Thu.)January 25, 2018

Competition Rules

Works must have been produced in 2016 or later.
Each person may only submit one work.
Works must be signed and edition-numbered by the artist.
There are no restrictions on plate types or techniques used.
Works are to be on A4 size (297 x 210 mm) paper, horizontal or vertical, and the image size is to be no larger than 270 x 180 mm.
We do not accept collaborative works.
Works that soil the surrounding environment or are difficult to handle may not be accepted.
Prize-winning works will be acquired by the Tama Art University Museum.
The jury will screen images of the entries sent to the triennial site through the website.
The entrants who pass the 1st screening must send the original physical prints.
The jury will then select the award-winning works from the original prints.



(Wed.) March 14, (Thurs.) March 15


(Sat.) June 2, 2018


Naruki OSHIMA (artist and photographer)
Kuniko SATAKE (printmaker)
Akira TATEHATA (art critic)
Hiroko FURUYA (printmaker)
Tatsumasa WATANABE (printmaker)

Naruki OSHIMA (artist and photographer)
Keizaburo OKAMURA (painter)
Akira TATEHATA (art critic)
Kazumi NAKAMURA (painter)
Fumiaki FUKITA (printmaker)
Kunio MOTOE (art critic)

1.Grand-pix (1) 300,000yen
2.Semi Grand-pix (2) 100,000yen
3.Jury Award (6) 70,000yen
4.Museum Award (10) 30,000yen