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WATANABE SADAO. Schenkung Ruth Hetcamp

Museum DKM, Duisburg

Ruth Hetcamp, who grew up in Duisburg-Meiderich during the Second World War, founded the Tokyo Inochi-no-Denwa, the Japanese version of the telephone counselling service, in 1960, for which she was awarded the Imperial Order in Tokyo in 2008.

Last year, Ruth Hetcamp donated works by the Japanese artist Watanabe Sadao (JP, 1913-1996), whose work she became acquainted with during her mission to Japan, to the DKM Foundation. The Japanese artist became known for his Bible prints in the style of the Mingei tradition, a movement that sought to revive the historical craftsmanship and technical knowledge of traditional Japanese arts and crafts. Christian iconography merges in Watanabe Sadao’s works with an expressive Buddhist language that uses local materials such as kozo paper and momigami (kneaded paper) as well as the katazome technique of stencilling.

A selection of the Ruth Hetcamp donation, which in its entirety comprises 34 works by Watanabe Sadao, is on display in the DKM Museum library, which is otherwise not open to the public.

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