Samuel Sachs II
Director Emeritus, The Frick Collection
President, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation

Dear Citizens of Nagasaki,

Paper, a medium favored by artists since its invention in China in the
3rd century BC, is versatile, elegant and endlessly expressive. It
found its way to Japan in the 4th century AD and has been at the core
of culture there ever since. Washi, the handmade version, is central to
many long traditions not the least of which is Origami.

The art of cutting paper, however, has found special expression and
one has only to look at such diverse cultural examples as Indonesian
Shadow Puppets, Ashkenazi Mizrahs, Swiss Jean Hubers Silhouette
Portraiture or Pennsylvanian 18th century Valentine cards to experience
some of the immense range. There is a Jizhow bowl from the Southern
Song Dynasty (1200-1279) which marries stoneware and cut-paper designs

Nagasaki native Hiro Takeshita is now having his first one-man
exhibition in his home city after 30 years. He has created a handsome
body of cut paper work and drawn inspiration from many artists to
create his own, unique blend of a keen Japanese sensibility with a
visual acuity drawn from a life in the West. His artists eye sees an
ever-hopeful view of a color-filled world where line and space create a
multi-dimensional reality.

Working tirelessly and imaginatively with scissors and razor he makes
precision drawings as no pen could, often creating a level of detail
which delights the viewer at the same time as causing awareness of the
sheer effort of creation. His humor is never far off and a sense of
delight is central to Takeshita's oeuvre. Unlike many other artists he
seems equally at home with day and night. The tenderness which pervades
much of his work makes it most appropriate for children as well.

In 2001, he made a wonderful and touching Christmas card showing the
building of The Frick Collection, New York and its Christmas
decorations using his traditional papercut work style. The message
read, Peace on Earth. This message is very important for him. The
Christmas card was enjoyed by many people. I hope people of Nagasaki
enjoy his artwork, too.