Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 - 32nd Q Ei Exhibition

Watanuki Ltd. is participating in the largest ever Art Basel Miami Beach with 283 galleries.

Out of three galleries participating from Japan, Watanuki Ltd. is hosting the second solo exhibition by Q Ei outside Japan, following Art Basel Hong Kong 2019.

Q Ei (1911-1960, Real name SUGITA Hideo) was born in Miyazaki, Japan. He began to publish essays in art magazines such as "Atelier" and "Mizue" at the age of fifteen. In 1936, he developed a unique expression using the photogram technique, in which the light was shone directly onto photographic paper without using a camera. With his photo-dessin collection "Reason for Sleep", he made his full debut in the art world. The technique of photogram was developed in 1920s by Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, but unlike his foregoers, Q Ei used not only ready-made products, but also stencils of people and animals cut out of his own drawings, as well as laces, nets, penlights, etc., which had a decorative effect. These unique works that overlapped the traces of the painter's own hand movements were named "Photo-dessin". However, critics only pointed out his similarities with the techniques of Man Ray and Moholy -Nagy, but did not discuss true nature of his works. Q Ei came to be strongly distrusted by this, and in 1937 he joined the founding of "Jiyū Bijutsu Kyōkai (Free Art Association)", and criticized the establishment and Japan's art world. In the first exhibition of "Jiyū Bijutsu Kyōkai", he exhibited a photo collage work titled "Real". Q Ei's photo collages have a strong anti-intellectual character, with images of people and animals from foreign film and fashion magazines chopped up and deconstructed.

After the war, he worked on etching and lithography as well as photo-dessin. In 1951 he founded "Demokurāto Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Democratic Artists Association)", attracting attention as an avant-garde painter. Q Ei's orientation towards 'painting of light', which he attempted with a variety of techniques, finally led him to his unique abstract paintings in oil pointillism, in which the entire picture plane is filled with dots.

Throughout his life, Q Ei produced a vast body of work, seeking unique expression in a variety of techniques until his young life burnt out at the age of 48. His works and way of being had a great influence on young artists such as Ay-O, IKEDA Masuo, ISOBE Yukihisa, KAWARA On and HOSOE Eikoh, leaving a significant mark as a pioneer of avant-garde art in Japan.

While Q Ei was still alive in March 1953, 5 of his photo-dessin were exhibited in "Tops in Photography" exhibition held in New York. After his death, "Japon des Avant-gardes 1910-1970", held at Pompidou Center between 9th December 1986 to 2nd March 1987 exhibited 15 works (4 dessins, 8 photo-dessin, 2 photo collages and 1 oil painting "Small White in Red" (1937, collection of National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo))

Although he did not have many opportunities to present his work abroad, Q Ei's exhibitions are still being held at museums throughout Japan 60 years after his death.

In this art fair, 9 photo-dessin from the early 1930s to the last years of his life, of which Q Ei is said to have produced over 2,000 pieces throughout his life, and a newly discovered early series of photo collages will be exhibited. photo collages were series probably made before "Real" in 1937 under a different idea, and they are an important research subject not only for future studies of Q Ei but also for the history of avant-garde art in Japan.

Private view
(invitees only):
November 29 (Tue.) 11:00~19:00
*First Choice VIP card holders
November 29 (Tue.) 16:00~19:00
*Preview VIP card holders
November 29 (Wed.) 11:00~19:00
*First Choice VIP/Preview VIP card holders
(invitees only):
November 30 (Wed.) 16:00~19:00
Public Viewing: December 1 (Thur.) 11:00~19:00
December 2 (Fri.) 11:00~19:00
December 3 (Sat.) 11:00~18:00
Venue: Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Drive,
Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
Google Map
Official Web:

We are publishing a catalog for the exhibition.

"The 32nd Q Ei Exhibition" catalog

Published 2022 by Watanuki Ltd.  25.7×17.2cm  36 pages
Text: OTANI Shogo (Deputy Director of Fine Arts, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)
Images: 20
Editor: ODACHI Reiko (Watanuki Ltd.)
Design: Okamoto Issen Graphic Design Co.,Ltd.
Translation: OGAWA Kikuko, SHINZAWA Yu (Watanuki Ltd.), KATSUMI Mio (Watanuki Ltd.)
All texts in English and Japanese.

*For inquiry and order, please fill in the inquiry form below or e-mail us at

Artist:  Q Ei

The venue

Exhibition View

Inquiry form

Product number, artist name, work title

Post code:
If you have any question, an artist of interest, or a work you are looking for, please write in the box below.

We will reply to you as soon as we check our stock.