(2010) NHK again! Their overseas arm - NHK World - asked me to appear in a pilot program for a new series they were planning, to be called Japanophiles. (No bonus points for guessing what the series was going to be about!) Host Peter Barakan and I spent a very enjoyable time in their studio putting it all together, and the result turned out to be one of the best overviews of my work made to date. And it's entirely in English ...
(After watching the program, if you would like to post some feedback with your comments, you may do so on this page of the Woodblock RoundTable.)
The 'Woodblock Shimbun' has a full selection of TV programs on file. Videos available include some of David's news appearances, complete feature programs, and some short documentaries on his work. The files are in QuickTime format, and can be easily viewed with your browser.
Program listings are on the Index page ...
Woodblock Man Carves Niche
Woodblock carver David Bull refuses to be called an 'artist' or 'sensei'. "I'm just the guy who carves a piece of wood," Bull said. "All I do is copy what the real artists did." Since 1989, the Canadian university dropout who once played the flute on the streets of London has spent many hours bent over his woodblocks, nose and beard almost touching the surface, as he carved toward a self-appointed goal: the recreation of 18th century ukiyo-e artist Katsukawa Shunsho's 'Hyakunin Isshu: Poems from One Hundred Poets' series. (1999)
The Blue-eyed Ukiyo-e Craftsman
Midnight is the best time.
The noise and confusion of the day's activities has died down, my two
young daughters are lost in their dreams, the roar of the traffic
passing on the road outside has dwindled away to an occasional
murmur, and my hand is now steady and ready for the challenge. The
easy parts are done, the kimono designs, the lettering, the outlines.
Tonight I will carve the face - slicing away the rock-hard cherry
wood sliver by sliver, and watching as the delicate features of a
10th century court lady gradually take shape in the wood. (1992)
'Youngest' Ukiyo-e Craftsman
Ukiyoe, the Japanese art form most familiar to foreigners, was not always highly appreciated. In its earlier days during the Edo period, ukiyoe prints were used to wrap fish, similar to how people use newspaper comics to wrap garbage. Though its reputation gradually improved, mainly due to its popularity with Westerners, it may be to no avail. Ukiyoe and the traditional woodblock printmaking craft is dying in Japan. With less than 40 members in the crafts guild, all of them over 60 years old, and no apprentices, this art form is close to extinction. (1992)