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​About the partnership and history of Japanese paper photography and mounting culture
From hanging scrolls and folding screens to picture scrolls, fusuma paintings, lanterns, and folding fans, the various styles of Japanese mounting culture preservation and restoration techniques are attracting attention from the world's art scene.
The Japan Washi Photography Association realizes that by integrating washi photography with the traditional culture of Japanese mountings, it has the potential to grow the Japanese photographic art into a world-class industry.
I will explain the circumstances leading up to this realization and the current situation.

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Photographs mounted on hanging scrolls are very popular overseas as art

Japanese food and fashion have been highly evaluated, and more and more people are interested in Japanese culture overseas.

Among the wealthy class, it seems to be booming to create Japanese-style tatami rooms and alcoves indoors.

The hanging scroll can be stored in a paulownia box (and then in a paper box) with an insect-repellent smell bag, so it seems that compact storage is also a reason for its popularity. am.

​The hanging scrolls are very popular even in exhibitions that are still ongoing at Russian museums, and have earned a reputation as proper works of art.

There are many well-known photographers abroad who wish to create works for hanging scrolls and folding screens.

We believe that it is an urgent task to create a system that allows us to print photos on Japanese paper in Japan, mount them on hanging scrolls and folding screens, and export them overseas by having photo data sent to Japan.

​Washi photographs mounted not only as works of art, but also as furnishings that can be used in daily life, can be a hit product that can only be made in Japan.

A Word from a French Woman at an International Photo Exhibition in Paris Gives a Hint to the Birth of Photographic Folding Screens

​International photo exhibition held in the underground space of the Louvre in Paris by Chairman Nobuaki TanakaPhoto feverI participated in 2016. I was consulted by a French lady who had paid an entrance fee to the venue and asked me to make a photo partition.

“Even in Europe, where paintings and photographs are hung in large quantities on the walls of rooms, it is difficult to secure a new exhibition space in Paris, where housing is difficult to build.” Partitions that can be installed directly can create a beautiful empty space at parties, etc. You can also hide unnecessary things, and you can fold them carefully and store them normally.” It was a woman's argument.

She explained that the partitions she referred to were called folding screens in Japan, and that they come in various sizes.

This was the beginning, and the idea of creating a large folding screen work using Japanese paper photographs was born in Paris.


​Encounter with Kyoto mounting culture

A few years later, I was looking for a photo folding screen plan for a while in Tokyo. There was no

By tracing the personal connections of potters, we were able to meet a traditional Kyoto craftsman who is active internationally.

In his opinion, the photo prints are made from sturdy handmade Japanese paper.

On his recommendation, I was introduced to the Awagami Factory of Awa Washi in Tokushima.

At the same time, in order to mount it on a folding screen as a work of art cultivated in the tradition of Kyoto's traditional crafts, a special order of double size was made at the Awa Washi Traditional Industry Center (Awagami Factory) in Tokushima. After ordering thick Japanese paper and spending half a year, a life-size naked photo ​ huge folding screen work was born.


* With the support of a traditional craftsman, the completed photo folding screen and other Japanese paper photo works were exhibited at the pavilion of the ICOM International Conference of Museums, an international conference of museums, where museums and museum officials from 138 countries happened to gather in Kyoto for a month. bottom.

​ I was lucky enough to receive a request for an exhibition in Russia from the Orenburg Museum in Russia.


A giant Japanese paper workshop in Tokushima attracting the attention of artists from around the world

Awagami Factory is the brand name of the Awa Washi comprehensive plant located in Yoshinogawa City, Tokushima.

The Awa Handmade Washi Commerce and Industry Cooperative Association is a group of craftsmen called papermakers who produce handmade Japanese paper.

The Fuji Paper Industry Association owns a factory production line for bamboo washi and comprehensive washi used in building materials.

The Awa Washi Museum of Traditional Crafts, where you can experience making handmade Japanese paper and exhibit materials and works.

It consists of these three.

Mr. Yoichi Fujimori, who is the representative of the association and the chairman of the foundation, was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 2020 for his achievements in fostering the Japanese paper industry.

​In addition, he has given lectures on the theme of Japanese paper overseas, and has made Awagami Factory a major for foreign artists of various genres.

​The work of a wide variety of mounters

The work of the mounting craftsman is diverse, depending on the beauty of style based on tradition.

A hanging scroll made up of multiple layers of cloth and thin washi paper supporting the delivered washi photo prints.

There are various types of folding screens, large and small. Wooden frame making → Hinges where paper wings are attached to the wooden frame → Bone binding → Mino sticking → Mino pressing that traps a layer of air → Bag sticking → A complex process is required: kiyori → hinges (combination) → main paper paste → backing paper → border making → finishing with rugs and metal fittings.

The great thing about Japanese mounting technology is that it uses limited natural materials for components, adhesives, and paints.

​Since the production work is carried out in anticipation of future restoration work, deterioration and discoloration are extremely rare.

In parallel with this production work, the work of ordering paulownia boxes, paper boxes, cloth baths, transport cases, insect repellent desiccants (scented sachets), etc.

​ Mounting craftsmanThey are specialists called craftsmen who understand various knowledge and traditions at a deep level.

Presence of printing director Shiro Goji

Mr. Shiro Goji, who is also a director of the Awa Washi Traditional Industry Center and runs a photo studio, is the printing director of Japanese paper photography at Awagami Factory.

At Awagami Factory, he is in charge of IT system management and printing on Japanese paper at Awagami Output Service.

Utilizing our knowledge of Japanese paper, knowledge of silver halide prints, and knowledge of digital equipment such as printers, we carry out digital printing for artists from Japan and overseas.

​International artists visiting him are endless.

​He is the key man who supports the WashigraphPhoto work of the Japan Washi Photo Association.

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​ A composition that supports a photographer in collaboration with a Japanese paper craftsman, a mounting craftsman, and a printing director

We are not arranging orders for finishing photographs taken by photographers on hanging scrolls or folding screens. ​

Nobuaki Tanaka, chairman of the Japan Washi Photography Association, is producing the entire mounting plan.

(1) The producer asks the mountings about the hanging scrolls and folding screens, and decides on the size. Prepare a production plan based on specifications, packaging, shipping methods, and budget.

The producerI consulted the printing director of Awagami Factory about the production plan, and decided on the type and size of Japanese paper and the method of outputting the image.

3. The printing director instructed the paper making to the paper craftsmen, and Awagami Factory started making the washi paper.

(4) Producer Photo Authoring the photographer's data. Based on the design proposal, we deliver the data to the printing director.

⑤ The printing director converts the delivery data into output data.

⑥ Output the image on the completed Japanese paper.

⑦ Send the Japanese paper photo with the image output to the mounter. Mounting craftsman begins mounting work.

​⑧The mounting artist delivers the completed mounting work to the producer. inspection work.

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