Maejima Tadaaki was born in 1924 in Asomachi in Ibaragi Prefecture. However, when he started his formal art training, after WW II, under Onchi and Hiratsuka, Maejima took the name Haku Maki. The majority of Maki's early work was known for his inclusion of Chinese characters in his paintings. Later, as his style developed, Maki became known for using various methods in his art. This included combined woodcut, stencil, lamination, and cement-relief block prints in which cement-paste (dental cement) was carved and scored while still wet. After the cement was scored, wood blocks were pressed against it, to create a three dimensional effect. This embossing effect makes Maki's work appear to reach out to the observer, almost as if it were the painted object, rather than an image.

In 1959, Haku Maki was recognized by James A. Michener, in his book The Modern Japanese Print. One of Maki's most remembered works is a 21 block print accompaniment to a handwritten scroll called the Kinkafu, which was composed of poems written between the 5th and 9th centuries. Haku Maki died in 2000. If you are interested in viewing Haku Maki's work, there are currently collections of his work in:

Personally, I find Haku Maki's work to be calming, and almost serene in its simplicity. Each painting focuses almost entirely on one object, paying little or no attention to its surroundings. In fact, there is often no background to his paintings. Actually, I have had the privilege of visiting with Haku Maki in his home, in 1997, only a few years before he died. However, he was rather old when I met him (about 73), and he only spoke Japanese, which I didn't speak, so conversations were short, and very simple.

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