橘 宣郁子 ／ TACHIBANA Seiko
12″×12″ , acrylic ,paper on pencil , 2019 （each work）
1995年 サンフランシスコ美術院美術修士号（MFA:San Francisco Art Institute,CA）
橘宣郁子個展 2023年 トアロード画廊
Interview with Seiko Tachibana
We talked with Seiko Tachibana, one of our featured artists at the Watershed in Petaluma last October and at our partner gallery, Themes + Projects in San Francisco.
Seiko was born and grew up in Osaka, Japan, where she attended school. From a very young age she loved to draw and paint. Her parents recognized her talent and sent her to art classes. As a child, she even invented her own Manga characters and stories.
Seiko moved to Kobe to attend the university there. Her intention was to become a grade schoolteacher. One of the requirements to get her teaching degree was to take one specific subject course. She wondered whether art or history because she liked them both very much. She picked art because she thought it would be more fun. To her surprise it was challenging and fascinating. How lucky are we that she chose art?
The teachers who taught art classes at Kobe U were all professional artists in their own fields of product design, ceramics, painting, sculpture and more. She was introduced to woodblock printmaking in 1990 by one of her visiting professors, a very famous printmaker, Akira Kurosaki. Seiko was completely fascinated by the printmaking process and though she loved the wood block printing technique, she decided plate etching was for her.
Her love for the art and her teachers’ contagious passion cemented Seiko’s desire to pursue a Masters of Education in Art. Her teachers at Kobe U encouraged and supported her to study abroad. She was awarded a scholarship from the Rotary Club in Nara, Japan (where her family then lived) and was accepted by several art schools in the US. She settled for the San Francisco Art Institute MFA program mainly because of the Rotary club’s guidelines. Also, there she met the wife of one of the printmaking masters she learned etching from in Japan and felt comfortable knowing someone while so far from home. She realized the weather of the West Coast was suitable for her as well.
A night owl by nature, Seiko works long hours on her art. Her exhibitions are contemplations on nature, from imagined shapes to leaves, from moving water to the cosmos. When she’s not working on her art, Seiko loves to read,cook, visit museums and travel. Her next exhibit is in Kobe, at the Motomachi (Tor Road Gallery); April 21 to May 1, just in case you happen to be in Japan. For local viewing of her work you can visit Themes + Projects in San Francisco, and the Ren Brown Gallery in Bodega Bay.