I spent two years in Kyoto, studying and teaching, and lived in Gifu City for about a month over one summer doing translation work. I have a strong background in Japanese art, and spent five years working on the amazing collection of approximately 50,000 Japanese prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Most of my artwork is not directly influenced by it Japanese art, but certain projects I make as direct responses to themes and styles that I like. The gallery below just has a few images, and I just added some Japanese-style hand scrolls to the New Work gallery. More will follow. When I was there in '01-'02, I spent 3 months carving a traditional noh mask, and also made a few folding fans, all of which I'll post when they are photographed.

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I made this ukiyo-e style portrait when Daisuke Joined the Boston Red Sox. The final image was printed on Japanese kozo-shi (mulberry paper), about 10x14", which softens the colors a bit. I spent a couple of years trying to negotiate image rights with MLB and Daisuke in order to sell prints, but the project ultimately stalled. The print was included in the 2008 Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibit Rockwell and the Shinjin

Last year I was commissioned by the Japan Society of Boston to create a welcome gift for Bobby Valentine when he became manager of the Red Sox. It was a tight turnaround time so I reused the background and drew a new portrait. I like working in the ukiyo-e tradition, and plan to revisit the series in the future.

Bobby Valentine receiving the print!

This is text for a t-shirt I made for the dorm I lived in. A fun, quick project I rediscovered while going through my image archives (and shirt drawer). The last character is an abbreviation of the kanji 寮 (ryou, dorm), that the other residents sometimes used. The bottom portion is replaced by a Roman capital "R".

This began as a roughly 12x16" woodblock print I made in 1998 or 1999. I digitized it and added text to turn it into a New Year postcard in the Japanese Tradition. I've done a few zodiac postcards over the years and have sketches for several full series in different styles.

Aburahamu Portrait
by Piotr Parda, 2006

The Japanese language is full of homophones and puns. My name in Japanese is pronounced "Aburahamu", which puns easily with abura (oil), and hamu (ham). I was toying with the imagery to use as an artist signature stamp, which you can see it in the two ukiyo-e style baseball portraits above, but I wanted something with a little more oomph, so I commissioned the amazing Piotr Parda (who is a much more accomplished and nimble painter than I'll ever be) to capture my portrait in the style you see here. It hangs in a prominent place in my home where I can be thoroughly pleased and a little grossed-out daily. The detail shows a charming dead fly on the table.