The Kyoto artist Idô Masao (井堂雅夫) was born in Manchuria (northeast China) in 1945, but his family moved to Morioka in Iwate Prefecture, Japan in 1946 and to Kyoto in 1959. Idô apprenticed with Mitsuho Yoshida, a traditional fabric dyer, in 1961, and also studied in Kyoto with Yoshida Kôhô and Ôtsubo Shigechika (woodblock prints) in 1972. Now a long-time resident of Kyoto, he has hosted a television show on a Japanese cable network (NKK) on making woodblock prints. A highly regarded modern printmaker focused on traditional themes, Idô is the premier printmaker in the Kyoto area. His works are included in the collections of such institutions as the Museum of Modern of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Florence Municipal Museum; Kyoto National Museum; and Tokyo National Museum.
For more information about this artist, see Ido Masao Biography.
In this large print, Ido relies on simpicity of form and palette to produce a charming view of a cat by a potted plant. Thick-veined leaves and floral pentagrams spring forth to fill the background of the pictorial space. The young feline, composed of graceful curves, engages with the viewer by looking directly out from the picture, an invitation further encouraged by the white oval behind the head, which guides the viewer's attention toward the eyes of the cat.