Japanese

UEDA SHOJI:CHILDREN CALENDAR

Never before in the history of Japanese photography, under the supervision of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and the Shoji Ueda Office, the collotype atelier at Benrido, Kyoto, is proud to present a limited edition portfolio collection - CHILDREN CALENDAR -consisting of 12 collotype prints selected from Shoji Ueda's most celebrated series of the same name. This is the first time in which new prints are being made after the death of the photographer in 2000. As original prints of Ueda have become all the more unavailable for institutions and connoisseurs around the world, this is a rare opportunity to collect 12 of Ueda's best works. The collotype prints presented in this collection are extremely archival. These exquisitely crafted works of art not only capture the spirits of Ueda's vintage prints, each of them inspires something new to the familiar images of the modernist master.

From luminous whites to rich blacks, the luxurious range of tones exhibited by collotype is unparallel. Richly printed with fine quality inks applied in exacting proportions to the delicately handmade Japanese papers, the collotype prints produced by Benrido, Kyoto, capture all the detail and ambiance of the original photograph in continuous tone. The transcendental beauty of this painstaking historical process shall aspire to create more new images in the future, as seen in the lyrical nostalgia of Shoji Ueda's CHILDREN CALENDAR.


CHILDREN CALENDAR, photographs by Ueda Shoji
Edition of 30 boxed sets;
12 handmade collotype prints (each print is numbered and sealed)
on Japanese handmade paper (Echizen torinoko #2)
Print size: 14" × 17"
Image size: ~ 9.5" × 14"
Individual mat size: 20" × 24"
Handmade clothbound case size: L51 × W62 × H7cm
Price: 1,000,000 yen + 50,000 yen (tax)
Text by Iwaya Kunio
Supervised by Kaneko Ryuichi of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
and Nakada Kaoruko of the Shoji Ueda Office
Produced by and printed at the Collotype Atelier, Benrido Inc., Kyoto
A production of Benrido, Inc., Kyoto, April 2006
Inquiry
Collected works
Recommendation sentence
About Ueda Shoji
About series ≪ CHILDREN CALENDAR ≫


Collected works

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Recommendation sentence

CHILDREN CALENDAR -A Modern Classic from Collotype Country Japan

Edited by the father of contemporary photography Alfred Stieglitz, Camera Work, published between 1902-1917, is said to be the most beautiful photography magazine ever printed in history. The beauty of the illustrated images is a result of photogravure. That of which, is a screen less hand pull process that is known to produce fine artistic prints since the beginning of the 20th century.Well, what then was it like in Japan?
At the beginning of the 20th century, toward the end of the Meiji Era, photogravure was introduced but not vastly utilized in Japan. That is because, at the time, the collotype process was developing rapidly in our country.
To account for the history of collotype in Japan we need to stream back to the early years of the Meiji Era. In 1889 photo master Ogawa Kazuma established the first collotype press in Tokyo upon his return from studying dry plate manufacturing, carbon printing and collotype in the United States. The first output of Ogawa's photoengraving company was the art magazine, Kokka (National Essence), which premiered in October, that same year. From then on, reproduction from photography plates entered a new front through the advance development of collotype. Progressing into the 20th century, in pursuit of pictorialist art photography, Kuwata Shokai's Shashin Reidaishu (Photography Exercises), first published in 1904 in Osaka, heralded the significance of collotype and led to its unique advancement in the Kansai area. After that, during the decades of the 1920 and 1930, landmark photo publications further utilized the collotype process: Fuchikami Hakuyo's Hakuyo, a monthly photography magazine launched in 1922, was printed in large format in fine collotype; Fukuhara Shinzo's Paris to Seinu (Paris et la Seine), also published in the same year; and in 1933, Koishi Kiyoshi's Shoka Shinkei (Early Summer Nerves), a symbolic work of Shinko Shashin (the New Photography movement). Collotype has also helped to foster the photographic expressions of contemporary Japanese photography by rendering images comparable to original prints.
In Europe and the United States, collotype has been viewed as a mechanical printing process for replications and only photogravure has held the esteem as an artistic printing process. However, if we consider the history of Japanese photography, this recognition seems rather inadequate.
With all respect, Japan is a country that has been and continues to embrace collotype. And Ueda Shoji's CHILDREN CALDENDAR is a portfolio collection produced from this inherited tradition that should not be missed.

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About Ueda Shoji

Shoji Ueda(1913-2000)

Born in Tottori, Ueda started engrossing himself in photography before completing his middle school education. At the age of 18, he left home to attend the Oriental School of Photography in Tokyo. Upon graduation, Ueda returned to his hometown and started a photo studio when he was only 19 years old. From then on, Ueda started receiving recognitions from various magazines and established his name in the photography world. His signature works from the era include Four Girls Posing and Papa, Mama and the Children. Ueda spent most of his career photographing the surroundings of his hometown, Tottori, in the San-in region of Japan. He often placed his subjects against the sand dune or the sky of Tottori and photographed them as mere objects. This unique style of Ueda's is worldly known as "Ueda-cho". Last year, as part of the 10th year anniversary celebration of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, a special exhibition - His Manner of Life and Photography - covered the life span works of Ueda. From 2005 to 2008, a series of large scaled retrospective exhibitions of Ueda are being held around Europe. The Japanese legendary modernist photographer continues to receive high acclaims after his death worldwide.

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About series ≪ CHILDREN CALENDAR ≫

This series comprises of Ueda's works between 1955-1970, that of which were prints submitted to or commissioned by photo magazines, etc. In 1971, Chuokoron-sha published this body of work and named it CHILDREN CALENDAR as part of a photo collection featuring young promising photographers such as Narahara Ikko, Tomatsu Shomei and Moriyama Daido, who were members of either the prestigious VIVO or PROVOKE. Thus, the already 58 years old Ueda, then still viewed more as an amateur photographer from the countryside, drew considerable attention and became a legendary figure. In CHILDREN CALENDAR, Ueda used children as main subjects to illustrate the changes of seasons in Tottori. The elegant and transient images in this series reflect the modernist master's inimitable photographic sentiments.

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