Hidaka Washi’s Chinzei-san: IIC Hong Kong Memo 2014

香港、香港、香港。

Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

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飲茶とブルース・リー。そして100万ドルの夜景の街。

Dim sum and Bruce Lee. And the town of Million-dollar Night View.

そんな世界有数の観光都市で、2年に一度のIICの学会が行われるという。この貴重な情報元はもちろんヒロミペーパーの寛美さんである。あれは去年の初夏のことだ。「ウチは来年のAICサンフランシスコとIIC香港に出展するから、そのブースの一角でよろしければ御社もメーカーとして参加してはどうでしょう?」と、初対面の対話もそこそこに大変有難いオファーを頂いたのが、つい先日のようだ。二つ返事で「是非お願いします。」と即答し、大変貴重なAICサンフランシスコでの体験を活かし、より良い典具帖紙のプレゼンテーションを行う為、香港に向かった。現地の空港ロビーで寛美さん、越前和紙の五十嵐さんと合流し、いざ出発. エアポート・エクスプレスという空港から香港島を約30分で結ぶ高速鉄道に乗り込み、なんだかんだと喋ってる間に香港駅に到着。ホテルからの迎えのバスに乗り込み、チェックイン。その後ホテルにサンタモニカと日高村から事前に輸送していた資材を受け取り、タクシーにて会場のシティセンターへ。会場の設営時間ギリギリまで3人で汗だくになりながら、設営。その後香港海防博物館にてウエルカムレセプション。様々な国から参加された方々との交流を楽しんだ。

In such a world leading tourist city, it is said that the IIC Congress is held once in two years. Of course, the origin of this information is Ms. Hiromi of Hiromi Paper. That was the early summer of the last year. “Why don’t you join us in our booth at AIC San Francisco and IIC Hong Kong next year.” Although that was the first time for us to have some business conversations, she gave us such a wonderful offer to our company. “YES, please let us join your booth.” I answered immediately. After our first joint presentation success in AIC San Francisco, we headed to Hong Kong in order to do a better presentation. Hiromi, Ms. Igarashi, and I joined together at the Hong Kong International airport, and headed to Hong Kong Island. It took us about half an hour to get to the Hong Kong station by high speed railway called “Airport Express”. We took a hotel shuttle bus to our hotel to check in and pick up our paper materials. As soon as we got the stuff, we jumped back to the Hong Kong City Hall where the congress was held. We built and set our booth until they closed the exhibition room. Then, we moved to the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence to join the welcome reception, and enjoyed conversations with visitors from all over the world.

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 レセプション会場にて本番前のリラックスタイム。Relax time at reception.

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翌朝。事前のブースチェックと最終調整の為、少し早めにホテルを出発。ラフな運転で有名な(?)バスにて会場に到着。

In the next morning, we left our hotel a little early to check our booth. We safely arrived at the city hall by taking the infamous “rough” bus.

準備を終え、会場の他出店業者さんへの挨拶をひと通り済ませる頃に学会は休憩時間に突入。会場に人が雪崩れ込むや否や、ヒロミペーパーのブースは黒山の人だかり。ブースに人が入りきれず、三人はサンプル出しや、対応に大わらわ。

ヒロミペーパーが提案する修復用の和紙とグッズは会場でも別格の注目度!

After we finished setting up and making rounds to the other exhibitors, refreshment time has come. As soon as people rushed into the exhibitor’s room, our booth was filled with so many people that even we could not answer every one of them.

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 寛美さんは日本からこられた懐かしい方々との嬉しい再会も!

Hiromi met some old friends from Japan!

そんな大変忙しい4日間を過ごし、様々な国の方々とのコミュニケーションを楽しみ、和紙に関する貴重なご意見を伺う事ができた。この経験を活かし、今後はより分かりやすく、魅力的な展示を行いたいと思う所存だ。ヒロミペーパーさんには、このような素晴らしく、貴重な経験をさせて頂き、本当に感謝しています。有難うございました。今回吸収したリクエストや、情報を次回の地元ロスアンゼルス大会にて昇華させたいと思ってます。

After a busy 4 days, we enjoyed conversations with many customers from all over the world, and received valuable suggestions about Japanese Paper. Taking advantage of this experience, I intend to give more appealing and clarified presentations at future conferences. Finally, I thank Hiromi Paper for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. I will work harder at the next Los Angels Congress in 2016.

Thank you to Chinzei-san of Hidaka Washi for the IIC 2014 update! It sounded like an amazing conference, we look forward to 2016!

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Studio Visit: J.J. L’Heureux

Bergy Bit Paintings on Nepalese Paper
Artist’s Statement by J. J. L’Heureux     
www.jjlheureux.com

“I am an abstract painter. I often use landscape as the inspiration for my work. The road from the physical environment to the inspiration on the canvas attempts to convey my enthusiasm and attraction to a place, its wildlife and selected aspects of the actual physical scenery.

Antarctica is remote, vast, windy and cold. Yet it is the most pristine place in all regards. It contains life in the most amazing forms and adaptations including penguins (birds that do not fly), birds that fly, seals, whales and in few places a handful of plants. While it is a place dominated by white on white there are colors in this setting of ice and snow that most people would be surprised to see.

Few people have had the privilege to travel to any part of this continent. There is a complex process underway among the many nations working in Antarctica of expanding the imagery of Antarctica into our shared cultural inventory of word, picture, music and scientific discovery.

Since my first visit thirteen years ago I have been building my own visual vocabulary. Bergy Bits is my first series of ice paintings. I have a photographic series that captures the colors and life in the snow and ice landscape. It is my intention to use different disciplines to capture my varied responses to this most wondrous place.

Close up look at Bergy Bits by J.J.

I have been to the Southern Ocean 13 times, the last in March 2013 when I was able to fly into the Taylor Dry Valley and study the Canada Glacier, one for the only “moving without movement” glaciers as it stays in approximately the same place because as it moves slowly forward it evaporates at the front inthe extremely windy, dry and extra cold air. It is my intention to find additional venues to explore different parts of this vast and inspiring place. The art will follow.

By definition Bergy Bits are large chunks of glacier ice or a very small iceberg floating in the sea. They are generally spawned from disintegrating icebergs and glaciers.”

We visited J.J.’s studio in late July, to see the Bergy Bits Series she was finishing up on. We were surprised to see how she incorporated the textured Nepalese papers into her work, using the bumpy textures of the papers to portray the coarse surfaces of the actual icebergs in the Southern Ocean. Over some coffee and J.J’s delicious homemade chocolate pudding, we asked her a few questions regarding her work:

Why did you choose to work with the Nepal papers for this series?
I loved the Nepal paper’s texture. I used to create my own bumpy textures on smooth papers, but when I found this Nepalese paper at Hiromi, it saved me a lot of trouble.

Do you go through any special preparations?
I have someone make the special size custom panels for me, then stretch the papers on to them and adhered with PVA glue. Then, I apply gesso before I start with my oil paints. I feel that oil paints have more texture than acrylic, which tends to become ‘flat’.

What is your main inspiration?
Well of course it comes from my expeditions to the South Ocean! Since 2000, I’ve been going every year on these adventures, and have been making art, conducting research and helping people ever since.

How long have you been using papers from Hiromi Paper?
Since Hiromi was at the Marina Del Rey location. She has the best papers, best variety and most availability. No one is disappointed with Hiromi’s Papers!

Check out our Nepal Paper here.

Thank You, J.J.!

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Filed under Around the World, Artist Submissions, Customer Tip, Decorative, Paper, Product Spotlight, Written by Joey

Artist Feature: Jalal Poehlman of Poehlman Press

Poehlman Press
Phone: 213.344.9692

I had the pleasure of visiting Poehlman Press, a fine-art printing studio in Downtown Los Angeles. Jalal Poehlman, artist and founder of Poehlman Press, works closely with each individual for every printing job. His clientele ranges from artists around the world, galleries, photographers, exclusive hotels, casinos, and more, many of which continuously come back for multiple projects. Some of his favorite projects include photographer Hannah Collins for the Ford Foundation and John Baldessari in 2002. Jalal showed me around his printing studio and a few of his wonderful prints. He also shared some insight on printing with paper and profiles. This led into a collaboration project we are working on with Jalal to print on washi for people to see at our retail location. Here is a little Q&A with Jalal Poehlman on printing:

How did you get into the profession of printing?

As an art student in the 90s, I became interested in ways to output digitally created artwork. After reading Walter Benjamin’s 1936 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility”, I became fascinated by the potential of reaching a larger and more diverse audience through digital and mechanical reproduction. At that time, there was only one type of printer that came close to producing similar image quality of a traditionally exposed color photograph. That printer was the venerable IRIS inkjet printer, which had the unique advantage of the ability to make those prints on a large variety of art papers, including washi. Very few people had done the engineering necessary to convert these $126,000 complex and finicky pre-press proofing systems to produce fine art. One of those pioneers is a man named Jack Duganne who is the owner and master print maker at Duganne Ateliers in Santa Monica. After leaving graduate school and landing in Los Angeles I asked around about who was doing the best digital printmaking in Los Angeles and I was told a number of times that it was Jack Duganne. Because I could not otherwise afford to learn and use the technology I needed in order to produce my artwork I knocked on Jack’s door and asked him for a job. Jack is a great teacher and lovely human being and 15 years later and with much thanks to him here I am.

What are some differences with printing on washi compared to other paper?

Washi papers offer much more variety of texture, weight, tone and color as compared to other papers and especially to other fine art quality inkjet papers. Washi papers also tend to be much stronger than western cotton papers and like gampi for example, can remain strong as a very thin and translucent material.

Lastly, do you have any advice or tips with printing on washi for people?

Ideally when printing fine art and photography, custom profiling including sophisticated ink-limiting and linearisation should be performed for each ink/paper/resolution combination. When that is done, the maximum imaging potential of each paper is achieved. I use professional profiling hardware and software as well as a third party RIP to maximize print quality and accuracy.

Short of the professional approach, I have a few tips for printing washi on a high quality inkjet printer such as offered by HP, Canon, and Epson. Generally, the brighter white the paper is, the better color and contrast you will be able to achieve. Ironically, the dominant inkjet printer technology is Japanese and I have never seen a washi printing preset in any print drivers. Perhaps that is because of the huge variety of hand and machine made washi papers available. The paper settings in your print driver among other things controls the amount of ink that is allowed to go onto the paper. Coated washi papers can accept more ink than uncoated papers, they will give the best results. Experiment with fine art paper settings when using coated washi paper. When using uncoated papers, I’ve found that picking a plain paper setting often works best. When an image doesn’t come out as brilliantly as we want sometimes the first instinct is to lay down more ink. Quite often we are overloading the paper giving us muddy looking prints. Better results may be obtained from laying down less ink.
Thank You, Jalal!

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Filed under About Washi, Artist Submissions, Customer Tip, Digital Art, Paper, Updates, Written by Joey

Laura Viñas: Whisper project

Whisper by Laura Viñas
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” Whisper is a project developed by Laura Viñas at The I-Park Foundation during her July 2014 Residency.
The installation is made of watercolours on Tengucho paper. It is inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ Afterglow.
The boundless spaces and unique horizon of the Pampa landscape are subtly portrayed in this beautiful poem. “

Laura used the MMN-1 Tengucho 5g papers for these watercolors.

Check out this video to see the papers in action!

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From Japan: All-Japan Handmade Washi Association

50 Years of the All-Japan Handmade Washi Association

by Satoshi Hasegawa/Translated by Yuki Katayama

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Mino papermaker Satoshi Hasegawa in his early years

The All Japan Handmade Washi Association is an organization constructed of Japanese papermakers from around the country. Established in 1963, this group has acted as a prime spot for information exchange for 50 years. Though our activities and members have decreased since establishment, the association is still striving to preserve handmade washi.

Back in March, we all gathered to look back on the past 50 years. We were surprised to realize that many of the past records and documents had not been organized or even stored, so there was almost no records of the first 25 years of association activity. There was one individual we came across while organizing data that caught my attention. From the documents I could tell that he was a very devout ‘washi-lover’, who put much effort into succeeding the washi traditions to further generations.

He also greatly contributed to Hon Mino paper being chosen as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset, stating that “We must make (Hon Mino) an Intangible Cultural Asset, before we lose the paper forever”.

I feel that these countless efforts from past individuals is one of the main reasons handmade washi has survived for all these years.

Handmade washi has been proposed to UNESCO for their Intangible Cultural Heritage candidate as “Traditional Japanese washi”, but there are many existing problems in washi production and well as succeeding the traditions.

I wonder what the dedicated, washi-loving individual would say about the current situation of handmade washi. Though I can never meet him, I can’t help but want to exchange thoughts and ideas with him.

From Hiromi Paper:
Like Hasegawa-san, we at Hiromi Paper are also concerned about the decrease in papermakers that are able to make high-quality washi. We hope that we can be of help to those Japanese papermakers and preserve their traditions.

Thank you, Hasegawa-san, for always sending us your lovely and wonderful Mino papers!
See them here: HP-01 Hon Mino, HP-02 Usu Mino, HP-04 Usu Mino Thin, HP-05 Chochin, HM-54 Usu Mino Thinnest.

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Filed under About Washi, From Japan, Paper, Papermaking, Written by Yuki

Jennifer Moon x The Fire Monkey for Hammer Museum

Artist Jennifer Moon and bookbinder George Busby of The Fire Monkey have collaborated on a book project, a part of the “Made in LA” exhibition at Hammer Museum!

This is an especially interesting collaboration for Hiromi Paper as well, because when Jennifer had been searching for a local bookbinder, we were the ones that first recommended George at The Fire Monkey; whom we’ve had a close relationship with for many years. We are so glad this collaboration worked out, and together they created such a wonderful book!

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The book itself is a half leather-binding with a gold leaf pressed emblem on the front, a logo that Jennifer had made especially for this show.
Inside papers are inkjet prints on all Amate Solid Natural. Continue reading

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Filed under Art & Conservation, Artist Submissions, Bookcloth, Books, Digital Art, Event, Paper, Written by Yuki

A Visit to TreeSpace Studio

TreeSpace Studio

Amy T. Won

www.treespacestudio.com

Watercolors on Khadi.

It started out as a project to create her wedding invitations, and escalated to more invitation requests from couples. Amy is now taking the time to work on her own art. She has been drawing all her life, and attended school for architecture. During a mission to find paper sources, she was led to us, and we have been big fans ever since the first time she brought in her work! Last week, Yuki and I were more than excited to be able to visit her enchanted studio. Take a look around!

Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Artist Submissions, Decorative, Paper, Written by Joey