The Adachi Contemporary Ukiyo-e Award was launched in 2009 with the aim of “Discovering Ukiyo-e Artists of the 21st Century.” We have started the production of woodcut prints of the work by Ryohei Shimazaki, winner of the 7th Contemporary Ukiyo-e Award selected from 62 applicants!
Under the theme of “Pictures of Beautiful Men and Women,” the bijin-ga (literally “pictures of beautiful women”) painted with delicate brushstrokes will be brought to life as “contemporary ukiyo-e” by young sculptors and printers with exquisite skills.
The prints are produced in the same manner as traditional woodcut prints. The artist’s design is affixed on a woodblock by the sculptor, who proceeds to carve the blocks. The first to be carved is the key block, used to print the thin black outlines on a woodblock print. This becomes the basis for all the other blocks. The most important tool for the sculptor is the knife he uses to carve a woodblock. Staying true to the artist’s brushstrokes, the carver makes grooves on either side of the lines of the design.
The carver has finished using his knife on the key block. At this point, 80% of the carving process is done. The carver will go on to carve out the areas between the lines using chisels of various sizes. The key block will soon be completed. The fascinating and beautiful lines produced by Mr. Shimazaki will be faithfully reproduced as woodblocks.
Stay tuned for follow-up reports on the production process!