Unfortunately, the details of Hiromu Sato’s life and career are a bit of a mystery; an internet search still yields little biographical information available to western readers about this Japanese artist born in 1923.
As a printmaker, Sato’s prints were highly regarded in the United States. During the 1950s, his lyrical, richly colored abstract woodcuts were sold to prominent Asian art connoisseurs Howard and Caroline Porter from Cincinnati and to the iconoclastic Chicago collector Arnold Maremont, whose art collection was a who’s who of modern art valued at more than $2,000,000.
"The rebirth of the Japanese creative print movement coincided with the rebirth of Japan after World War II. By the late 1950s, abstraction and its unique blend of East and West became the mode of the print movement in Japan."
This quote, taken from the press release for the 2015 exhibition Modern Voices in Japanese Ceramics and Prints at the Cincinnati Art Museum, is a perfect descriptive for this artist’s vision, and the exhibit and catalog prominently showcased Sato’s prints from the museum’s permanent collection.
By using traditional Japanese printmaking techniques to create his abstracted and poetic compositions, Sato reflects the zeitgeist of post-war Japan as it re-engaged the world at large.