Yoshihiro Kitai is an Assistant Professor of printmaking at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. Originally from Osaka, Japan, Kitai moved to the United States in 1994 after studying at Tajimi Ceramic School in Gifu. Kitai holds a BFA in Printmaking from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (2002) and received his MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 2004. Kitai is represented by Froelick Gallery in Portland.
Kitai primarily makes work on paper, using drawing, painting, and printmaking, combined with the sensibilities of practice and repetition he learned making pottery. He frequently uses a Japanese type of pigment similar to watercolor called gansai, creating tiny dots or brush strokes meditatively repeated into seas of rhythmic patterns. He emphasizes surface and material contrast by using passages of gold or silver leaf which evoke the stylized clouds of traditional Japanese screen paintings. The shimmering metallic surfaces pulse between foreground and background, leaving openings later filled in with delicate, undulating points of pigment. A limited color palette highlights the subtle shift in gradients as the paint in each brush stroke fades after its initial saturation. The resultant works feel simultaneously restrained and joyful, eliciting a sense of orderly quietude.