"Man and Woman" by Keiichi Uryu

Man and Woman 1989
by Keiichi Uryu
Golden bronze with tan patina

This medal was chosen as the 120th issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series in 1989.

The obverse bears a scowling stylized man with facial scars; Hokusai-style waves at left; varied male occupations below with far-off Mount Fuji in background. In lower left, signed in Japanese

The reverse bears a woman's face in elaborate coif with Mount Fuji in upper right; traditional women's activities, including tea ceremony, below. In lower left and lower right, signed in Japanese

In his "Message from the Artist" Uryu wrote:

"When I was young I was impatient with traditional Japanese paintings and wood block prints. I couldn't stand the stylized and restricted depiction because I so much admired the freedom and beauty of the paintings of the western world. Then one time I was commissioned to create a series of medals about the Japanese postage stamps which were based on traditional Japanese paintings. As I seriously stood face to face with these Ukiyoe paintings of the feudal Edo age of about 1600 to 1868 A.D. I became deeply impressed with their beauty, dynamism, perspective and expressive power. My eyes were opened to the work of my countrymen, Hokusai, Utamaro, Hiroshige and Sharaku."

Uryu managed to combine his appreciation for Japanese tradition and Western freedom in this medal by taking Japanese motifs and arranging them in non-traditional ways. He saw Art as a bridge between people of different backgrounds.

This medal is square and measures 72mm in height and width. It was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company which did not report production numbers for this medal. The edition is limited to 2,500.

72.0mm (2.83in)
Golden bronze with tan patina