Core Program, Workshop

Ukiyo-e Printing Demonstration and Workshop with Ogawa Nobuto

Image of printmaking process with UKIYO-E PROJECT

Saturday, April 27, 2024
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

In conjunction with the Center & Clark’s 2023-24 Core Program, Open Edo: Diverse, Ecological, and Global Perspectives on Japanese Art, 1603–1868, we are pleased to collaborate with UKIYO-E PROJECT to present a printing demonstration and workshop focused on ukiyo-e, a centuries-old style of art that flourished in the Edo period. These traditional Japanese woodblock prints feature multiple colors and are printed on fine washi paper.

The demonstration and workshop will be led by printer Ogawa Nobuto. Born in 1990 in Tokyo, Ogawa is part of a family of printers dating back to the Edo period. He learned the craft from his master, who was once his grandfather’s disciple.

During the printing demonstration, the audience will have the opportunity to observe a copy of Hokusai’s famous work The Great Wave Off Kanagawa being printed from beginning to end, accompanied by a detailed explanation of the process by the printer Nobuto. With the desire to stay as close as possible to the original first edition from the Edo period, and under the supervision of their advisor Mr. Shindo Shigeru, the UKIYO-E PROJECT have based their reproduction on the version of the Great Wave owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and asked woodcarver Sekioka Senrei III to carve the set of woodblocks that will be used by Nobuto. This printing demonstration is a rare chance to see and hear a printer with years of traditional training work on a masterpiece that continues to fascinate the world.

In the workshop, participants will get to try their hand at woodblock printing using the exact same process that was used back in the Edo period. Even if you previously learned printmaking at school, when you try it as an adult, you will experience nostalgia and a make a new discovery. Wouldn’t you want to experience the excitement of multicolor printing where the colors overlap? In this workshop, using a small woodblock, you will have the opportunity to create a four-color print to take home and enjoy.

With offices in Los Angeles and in Tokyo, UKIYO-E PROJECT is a contemporary ukiyo-e publisher founded by Yuka Mitsui in 2014 to keep the ukiyo-e craftsmanship alive by creating a new market for the artists practicing this traditional skill. As the words ukiyo and e mean “present” and “image” respectively, ukiyo-e naturally depicted popular trends and the culture of their time. Staying true to this philosophy, UKIYO-E PROJECT immortalizes iconic stars and landscapes of today through traditional woodblock prints, which continue to receive extensive press and have been acquired by international institutions such as the British Museum, the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna (MAK), and the Miami University Libraries.

Registration for both workshops has reached capacity. To be added to the Wait List, please fill out the form below. Please note: only one participant per form; if there are multiple members of your party, each person must fill out a wait list form. Participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian accompanying them. All workshop supplies will be provided, and we strongly recommend participants wear clothing and shoes that can get dirty, as printing ink may stain.

Photo credit: UKIYO-E PROJECT