Using the technique of Edo woodblock prints, we recreated the drawings by globally celebrated architect Kengo Kuma.
Kengo Kuma is an internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect. Kuma designed the Japan National Stadium which served as the central venue of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.
From among a wide array of his works, we selected two pieces: " Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum: gallery over the clouds" and "Tiffany Ginza Building" which show the breadth of his style, and recreated the drawings using the technique of Edo woodblock prints.
The newness of these pieces lies in the fact that we can now enjoy something that we do not encounter often, such as architectural drawings, in the form of Edo woodblock print work.
Please enjoy their unique features, different from ukiyo-e prints.
2 copies of a limited run of 20
bears the autograph of Mr. Kuma himself.
*Some edition numbers may already be sold, but please feel free to contact us if you have a particular number that you are interested in.
Carver: Saeko Nagai
Printer: Ayumi Suda
Number of woodblocks used: 7
Number of print layers: 15
Printing material: Solid wild cherry wood
Planning and Production: Takahashi Kobo
Supervision: Yukiko Takahashi
Founded during the Ansei period (1854-1860), Takahashi Kobo has been making woodblock prints for approximately 160 years, since the Edo period (1603-1867). Originally working as surishi (the people who colour the woodblocks and print the final image) on Edo woodblock prints, the Takahashi family began publishing prints after their fourth generation took over. "The work of woodblock printing is the root of Japanese printing. From temple school textbooks to ukiyo-e prints and wrapping paper, Japanese printing has always been supported by the technique of woodblock printing," says Yukiko Takahashi, the sixth generation of the Takahashi family.
During the Edo period, ukiyo-e prints served the purpose of informative magazines. For example, in the image of a beautiful woman, fashion trends of the time such as the design of the kimono and furniture, hairstyle, and hand fan, were all depicted in meticulous detail. The artistic value of ukiyo-e is such that it is now recognized globally.
Currently, Takahashi Kobo prints a wide variety of themes using woodblock, from traditional ukiyo-e to modern art. Furthermore, Takahashi produces merchandise sold at museum exhibitions and also holds lectures, demonstrations, and workshops by artisans at museums and schools. Such initiatives, which give new life to the culture of Edo woodblock prints by sharing and experiencing of the history and techniques associated them, have been highly popular and more and more offers have been coming from overseas recently, such as from Paris and London.
However, Takahashi says, "Ukiyo-e prints remain the base of woodblock prints. As we make use of this rich tradition and culture, I would like to use all five senses to capture current trends, embody them, and use them to produce works that suit contemporary lifestyles."