Our group, "The Printsaurus International Print Exchange Association of JAPAN", is friendly called "PRINTSAURUS" as the nickname originated from a playful coining word between "PRINT" and "Dinosaur" to underline the "Monstrous" nature of artistic expression in Japanese society.
PRINTSAURUS is a non-profit association operated only by the only printmakers. Hiroaki Miyayama established our group together some Japanese printmakers in 1987 to host The First Print Exchange Exhibition with Taiwan artists in Japan. Since then Hiroaki Miyayama was the representative until 2002. He is now our representative again from 2009. Our beginnings have been very modest. Currently it has over 40 members who are the young or leading artists, creating and producing their own original prints.
In PRINTSAURUS we don't have our own studio, workshop, or gallery to share with each other. It doesn't provide any space, facilities or goods for our membership. We have concentrated our task and objective on the realization of our practical movement. All activities are executed with the assistance of volunteers from membership, and by mans of communication through the telephone, the fax machine, the post and nowadays the e-mail. Each member is required to actively volunteer in the organization in addition to contributing his art works. It has obtained the good results of many successful exhibitions through its positive activity, its members conducted by themselves.

Our main purpose has been to focus on the promotion of The Print Exchange Exhibitions with international artists as well as local printmakers.
Through our activities each member is expected to hold a Wider View and Flexibility beyond the established traditional Japanese arts-circles.

We have organized many "International Print Exchange Exhibitions" and "Related Exhibitions" with foreign printmakers in Japan or foreign countries. We have established good relationships not only with Taiwan, China, Korea, and Thailand at Far East Asia but also with U.S.A., Canada, Belgium, Italy, Czech, Lithuania and Poland in the Western world. At the same time we have invited some foreign artists to our organized exhibition in Japan at our expense. We have obtained good experience and memories to directly communicate with them. And we published the catalogs, posters and so on., and obtained media coverage for advertising our activities. These results means our disclosed activities to the public. But actually we have been confronted with same difficult circumstances and problems in order to achieve these exhibitions with international artists.
We basically believe that the individual relationship and confidence between a member and a foreign artist should initiate the first opportunity of our exhibitions. In fact most exhibitions have been based on personal relationships and volunteer efforts. On the other hand we have had to deal with the problem of securing exhibition space and necessary financing. Actually we've involved museums, galleries, public communities, government funding agencies, and embassies as supporters.

We always think that the organization of PRINTSAURUS should be free, active, and flexible to our membership, and be open to many opportunities for local and foreign artists. It is not a pyramid structure from Top-Down, but a special style from Bottom-Up. In fact we set up different project (executive committees) for each exhibition or country. And we have a office doing the general affairs and organization in parallel.
So all members are expected to act as representatives of PRINTSAURUS, as they can take the opportunity to be project leaders who have the decisive power and responsibility to manage these exhibitions.

According to our experience and the results of past 20 years, we would like to propose to you to pursue Print Exchange Activity for the following 6 reasons.

  1. We think printmakers all over the world can frequently engage in Print Exchanges beyond international competitions, because Original Prints offer the advantage of Multiplicity and Convenience of Transportation by Mail.
  2. Print Exchanges call introduce talented and unknown young artists, and can bring their works before a wider general public not only in their country but also in many other countries.
  3. Print Exchanges can create a positive context whereby artists are involved in the dissemination of their art works and share their ideas with the public through the mediators of a museum or a gallery.
  4. They can promote a greater awareness and knowledge of Original Prints to larger audiences.
  5. They can deepen a mutual understanding and motivate a way of thinking beyond political. economical and social borders.
  6. Print Artists can have the chance to know and find out more about themselves through communication with international artists, their works and their culture.

Finally I hope that our belief will give you an opportunity to enlarge the Circle of the Print Exchange all over the world through big and organic Artist-Networks.