This blog post is the second edition of Looking Back, in which I look back on artwork I have made in the past.
Soon the 2018-2019 edition of the Dutch Go Association Yearbook will be published. Each year the Nederlandse Go Bond (NGoB) publishes such a booklet in which the most important seasonal go happenings of the Netherlands are recorded, along some major international go news.
As is becoming tradition, my go art is on the cover! This time it is my raccoon dog who drums his belly, a pun on the Japanese name of a famous tesuji combination of two stones played on the first line, capturing the opponent's group of stones in a spectacular way. The green marbling pattern was created by hand in 2019, then scanned and cleaned up digitally.
The raccoon dog on the cover of the 2018-2019 Dutch Go Yearbook is the fourth in a series of covers I have made for the Nederlandse Go Bond that feature animals, go positions and paper marbling. Here are the previous three:
And a picture of what the three booklets look like next to each other:
The cover of the 2017-2018 NGoB Yearbook features my go butterfly, which originally was a logo that I created for the European Youth Go Championships (EYGC) of 2015 that took place in Zandvoort.
The patterns on the wings of the butterfly show several tesuji shapes, such as the crane's nest and a snapback.
The 2016-2017 edition, probably my personal favourite so far, incorporates my drawing The Tortoise Shell, a pun on the Japanese name for one of the strongest shapes in go called 亀の甲 (the tortoise shell): a tortoise rocking the tortoise shell on his tortoise shell.
For the 2015-2016 yearbook I chose a design featuring Lee Sedol's famous move 78 that made AlphaGo go on tilt in game four of their best of five match in 2016. Lee Sedol lost the overall match to the computer program by 4 to 1 games, making AlphaGo the first computer to defeat a top level professional in the history of go. This wedging move by Sedol resulted in the only victory in the matchup for the Korean and became a symbolic victory of human capability.
If you look closely, you might notice a difference in the look of the elephant cover with the following editions: the elephant is black and white, since most of my artwork was still black and white in those days, but also unlike the subsequent covers the marbled background is one shade of colour and blends together with the go board. The original was blue and white, but an editorial decision was made to change it to brown. The future editions were not altered, showing a small difference in style.
Technically the NGoB Yearbook series with my artwork on the cover started with the 2014-2015 edition, for which my drawing called Fighting Spirit was used. I don't really consider this volume as part of the series, however, because it stands out from the rest. It is completely black and white and as I had not yet discovered paper marbling, there is no exciting background. On top of that, the actual go drawing ended on the back side of the booklet instead of the front. See pictures below. I also include some examples of what each yearbook I illustrated looks like on the inside.
My go art has also been published on two magazines of the German Go Association, called the Deutsche Go-Zeitung. The Raccoon Dog Drums His Belly and Fighting Spirit make their first appearances on the first DGoZ volume of 2015 and the second DGoZ volume of 2019.
Do you run or write a go editorial, magazine, bulletin, leaflet, website, book, you name it? And would you like to include my art? Please leave a comment!
Today I want to introduce a new part of my blog called Looking Back, which I will use every now and then to share artwork that I have created in the past. As the first post of Looking Back, I would like to share a series of 12 go artworks that I have made so far.
This ongoing series features animals, paper marbling (known as suminagashi in Japan and ebru in Turkey) and the game of go (known as igo in Japan, baduk in Korea and weiqi in China). Several of these designs refer to the names of patterns and shapes in the game of go that often are derived from nature. For other artworks I took inspiration from famous go matches or gave my own twist to commissioned work.
I sell these designs as postcards and posters in various sizes. This project started little over a year ago, when I realised I want to offer my art in an affordable format. I did however want to be able to guarantee the best quality possible and that is why I decided to make the products myself at home. After taking a chance and purchasing a professional printer in December 2018 I soon found out that it is not easy to find the right paper. Not too thin and shiny for the postcards, not too thick and plain for the posters. After several frustrating weeks of failed tries I finally found the right materials and started offering my work online. Since then I have worked together with many go organisations as well as individual buyers.
For those of you who are new to the game of go: go is a strategic board game in which black and white take turns, placing stones on a board, specifically on the intersections of the indicated lines. The goal of the game is to surround territory with your stones and whoever has surrounded most territory at the end of the match wins. The rules of go are simple, but the game never gets boring as there is an almost infinite amount of possibilities that makes every match you play a new challenge.
I have been hooked on go ever since I started playing in September 2004. The game, mind sport, art of go or whatever you want to call it has had a significant influence on my life. It gave me an outlet for my competitiveness, made me part of a community, influenced my drawings and even got me several jobs promoting the sport. You can read more about my go background in the GAME OF GO tab.