中国の切り絵(オレーンジ) (Chinese Papercut (Orange))

Designer: Anonymous | Carver: David Bull | Printer: Teiko Fujii

Size: 15cm by 11cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ?

Price: $ 40.00£ 32.25€ 36.75

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Description: This attractive little print differs from most of our work in that it has its roots in China, rather than Japan. It was originally a paper-cut, not a woodblock print.

Many people have the impression that printmaking was one of the many technologies and traditions that came to this country from China many years ago (the 'kanji' writing system being the best-known example), but that is actually not the case. The Chinese had a form of colour woodblock printing quite a bit earlier than the Japanese, as one might expect from their older civilization, but the technologies followed completely different paths as they grew and developed in each country.

This was mostly due to the tremendous difference in the paper. Chinese paper is very thin, and suits calligraphy very well; Japanese paper (made in many types around the country) has much more 'body', and stands up very well to repeated vigorous rubbing with the printing tool. Metalsmithing was of course also very different; the steel in Japanese swords has always been recognized as the peak of such craftsmanship, and the knives and chisels used in woodblock printmaking benefited enormously from that know-how.

But over and above all the technical factors, the major factor driving the Japanese printmaking technology to the high level it attained were the tastes of the Japanese people as a whole. Textiles, pottery, woodwork - in every genre - the Japanese have striven for perfection.

This little woodblock print - with its sharp clear lines, and beautifully gradated soft colour - can help remind us of that, even though its roots lie across the sea.

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