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WashigraphPhoto is a high-definition high-grade Japanese paper photograph. It is an "evolved art form of photography" with a texture similar to that of a painting!

It has been acclaimed as "prints of light" in an ongoing exhibition in Russia.

Since Japanese images are formed on Japanese paper using pigments (dye powder) and other natural materials rather than oil-based ink, which is subject to deterioration, there is extremely little deterioration or weathering of the photograph as in the past, which also deepens its value as a work of art.

Washi photographic works of the Japan Washi Photographic Society are special Washi photographic prints whose image data, produced and managed by Chairman Nobuaki Tanaka, are collectively managed in cooperation with Awagami Factory's Printing Director, Shiro Goji .

They are produced in a separate process from the regular prints that you can apply for online at Awagami Factory.

They are especially highly acclaimed for their phenomenal black color tightness. Please understand that this is a completely different dimension from washi paper photographs using washi paper-like prints for inkjet printers that are generally available on the market.

The current Washi Photo Society of Japan is not a photography club or a photography organization with a membership system of photographers.

The basic philosophy of the Japan Washi Photographic Society is to contribute to solving the problem of successors of craftsmen and producers and to revitalizing the washi industry scattered throughout the country by introducing abroad the system of creating WashigraphPhoto (washi photography), a cutting-edge evolutionary photographic art form, against the background of traditional Japanese culture of tableware and washi paper. The staff members who make up the secretariat are photographers.

The staff that makes up the secretariat is not only photographers, but also a collection of various specialists, and is now in its third year of operation.


Photographer Membership Program Ends and International Museum Collection is Born

The membership program based on photographers' support for artists, which the Washi Photographic Society of Japan has been actively engaged in for the past two years since its establishment, has been terminated. (As of December 2022)

From now on, photographers participating in the activities of the Washi Photography Association of Japan will be considered as "photographers participating in the International Museum Collection of WashigraphPhoto (Washi Photography)", which is planned by the Washi Photography Association of Japan in cooperation with related organizations.

The international museum collection will include many photographers from Europe and other countries, and will be exhibited at the planned Washi Museum of Photography in the near future, and at the same time, the works will be listed for lending to other museums.

Fusion with the traditional Japanese culture of mounting = Introducing Japan's washi and mounting (hanging scroll and folding screen) industry to the world

We have realized in our overseas exhibitions that the mounting of Japanese paper on hanging scrolls and folding screens is attracting more and more attention overseas as a representative Japanese art object called "Omotogu".

While kit products for stretching photographs onto hanging scrolls and folding screens are available, the works of mounting produced by the Japan Washi Photo Association are representative Japanese works of art that crystallize Japanese paper, cloth, and wood, created through relationships with first-rate mounting artists.

The Japan Washi Photo Association is also planning to collaborate with architects to create contemporary versions of works that combine architecture and fine art photography, such as fusuma-e (sliding door paintings) fully decorated with washi paper photographs.

Support by collaborating with the washi and tableware industries ・ Many of the traditional handmade washi villages scattered throughout Japan are facing a crisis due to the W-punch of a shortage of human resources and the shrinking scale of the industry. The raw materials for washi, such as kozo (paper mulberry) and gampi (gampi), are also partially dependent on imports.

Japanese handmade washi, which is immensely popular overseas as the highest quality printing paper for printmaking, has given artists around the world an overwhelming presence by combining it with photographic output technology, the latest crystallization of nanotechnology.

The Japan Washi Photo Association is cooperating in a project to secure stable raw materials for washi by planting seedlings of plants and trees (which can be shipped in about two years) that will be used as raw materials for washi.

The Japan Washi Photo Association is also actively exhibiting WashigraphPhoto artwork as hanging scrolls and folding screens in museums overseas.

We have already signed a sales plan with a Russian art company and plan to open a dedicated online store.

Integration with Japanese Culture

The Birth of the Museum of Washi Photography and the Idea of Establishing an International Museum Collection of Washi Photography

The washi used by the Japan Washi Photo Association in its WashigraphPhoto product brand, Awagami Factory, is produced on two production lines: the Awa Handmade Washi Merchant Cooperative Association and the Fuji Paper Mills Corporate Association (machine made).

The Awa Washi Traditional Industry Hall, a symbolic facility for these washi production facilities, is operated by the Awa Washi Traditional Industry Hall Foundation.

The Japan Washi Photographic Society is still actively supporting the plan to renovate the Awa Washi Traditional Industry Hall, which has hosted various exhibitions to date, into an art museum as a facility accredited by ICOM, the International Council of Museums.

Many foreign photographers have already shown interest in washi photography, and we are preparing to create a museum collection of washi photography that transcends nationality and race. We are cooperating in a project to secure stable raw materials for washi by planting seedlings (which can be shipped in Japan).

The Japan Washi Photo Association is also actively exhibiting WashigraphPhoto artwork as hanging scrolls and folding screens in museums overseas.

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The Birth of a Washi Photography Studio in the Euro Zone

We are preparing a plan to establish a Washi photo studio in the Euro zone as Awagami Factory's Paris studio at lembrasser (owner: Philippe Chanelet Dardenne), a Washi photo gallery on the island of Saint-Louis, located in the center of Paris, France. The company is also preparing a plan to open a studio in the Euro zone to output WashigraphPhoto works.

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Background of the establishment of the Japan Washi Photo Association and its relationship with the International Council of Museums (ICOM)

The Japan Washigraphy Association was founded three years ago when Nobuaki Tanaka, the current president of the association, exhibited his washi works in a booth at the International Council of Museums (ICOM) convention in Kyoto, Japan, which led to the "Japan Washigraph Exhibition," a large-scale exhibition invited by Yuri Komlev, director of the Orenburg State Museum of Art in Russia. This led to the establishment of the "Japan Washigraph Exhibition," a large-scale exhibition held at the invitation of Yuri Komlev, director of the Orenburg State Museum of Fine Arts in Russia.

ICOM, founded in 1946, is an international organization of museums, art galleries, and other museums. Headquartered at the UNESCO facility in Paris, France, ICOM represents museums and museum professionals on a global scale, with approximately 35,000 museum professionals from 137 countries (including regions) participating. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)


​Yuri Komlev

​Orenburg museum

The 500 works exhibited in the Japan Washigraph Exhibition of the Japan Washi Photographic Society were collected by the Orenburg Museum of Art and are currently being collected by museums in various cities of Russia (currently 7 museums) within the network of ICOM, Russia

#1 Orenburg:Exhibition Hall of the Orenburg Regional Museum of Fine Arts 2021/07/09-2021/09/19

#2 Novotroitsk:Museum and Exhibition complex of the city of Novotroitsk 2021/10/08-2021/11/07

#3 Ulyanovsk:Historical and Memorial Center-Museum of I.A. Goncharova 2021/12/20-2022/2/16

#4 Saratov:Saratov regional museum of local lore 2022/02/23-2022/04/21

#5 Irbit:Irbit State Museum of Fine Art 2022/06/27-2022/08/31

#6 Buzuluk:Buzuluk Museum of History and Local Lore 2022/09/20-2022/10/20

#7 Ufa:National museum of Republic of Bashkortostan/postponed  *The event is being postponed due to the COVID-19 and war.

​MAP、Detailed Explanation

*Nobuaki Tanaka, Chairman of the Japan Washi Photographic Society, and Yumaro Masuzono, Secretary General, are already registered as members of ICOM in recognition of their achievements in holding large-scale exhibitions of Washi photography overseas.

Imperfect color prints and well-preserved WashigraphPhoto

The development of technology to coat the surface of photographic paper with metals such as gold and selenium to prevent discoloration and deterioration of monochrome silver halide prints has created an environment in which black-and-white photographs can be treated as works of art. Most of the photographs in museums' collections have been treated in this way.

Color photographs in general, however, are still very poorly valued as works of art.

Both negative color prints and prints made with inkjet printers, which are now in widespread use, begin to lose their pigmentation and color cover after a few years.

For this reason, color photographs are only used as display materials in museums and art galleries, and are rarely treated as works of art in their own right.

Strictly speaking, today's color prints are only exhibition materials for a limited time, not works of art to be stored in collections.

On the other hand, the special washi photographic prints that we call "WashigraphPhoto" use an image output system that utilizes pigment (powder), which is a very stable material backed by ancient Japanese tradition, rather than oil-based ink pigments that are subject to chemical changes over time and under the influence of light. The "Washigraph Photo" system is based on the traditional Japanese tradition of using pigment (powder).

Washigraph Photo" is a new genre of photographic prints with revolutionary preservation properties that, under optimal conditions, are theoretically incomparable to conventional photographic prints.

One of the reasons why the works of the Japan Washi Photographic Society have been highly acclaimed by Russian museums as works of art is the high preservation quality of the Washigraph Photo.

WashigraphPhoto is the culmination of data optimization (Photo Authoring) technology.

Images on a camera or computer screen are light data (RGB data).

When light data is output on paper, it is converted into pigment data (CMYK data) and fixed as an image on the paper.

Since the image output process of this data is the process of converting the brilliance of light into pigment, which is color, not all images are naturally reproduced as they are.

This phenomenon occurs because CMYK data has an extremely narrow color space compared to RGB data.

To use an easy-to-understand analogy, it is not too much to say that CMYK data is like a set of 300 color crayons in light, but 24 color crayons in pigment.

WashigraphPhoto", the material of our work, is made up of four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) and six special colors to compensate for the reduction in color space during output, carefully correcting the "difference in impression between the data and the image".

The most important thing in the production of "WashigraphPhoto" data is not so-called retouching work such as image correction, but Photo Authoring is a photo-optimizing process that maximizes the dynamic range (latitude in photographic terminology) of images and colors.

Authoring is a term originally used in the photographic and prepress industries to refer to burning.
It is a process of optimizing photographic data (not retouching, which is the process of RAW development and correction) that is a precise fusion of the Zone System, which theorizes the relationship between photography and the darkroom, established by photographer Ansel Adams and others, and the ever-evolving technical environment of digital plate-making data creation.

Furthermore, by fixing this optimized photo data to the unique texture of washi paper, "WashigraphPhoto" is able to produce pictorial expressions that are not possible with ordinary photo prints.

The secret lies not only in the washi, but also in the optimization process of the image data.

​Detailed description.

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