1765, Amin Jaffer, art history, arts, bookmaker, contemporary artist, culture, digital c-print, Edo period, famous artworks, first full-colour printing technique, From the Vault at Christie’s, Harunobu, introduction, Japan, Japanese illustrator, literature, mid-Edo period, nishiki-e, photographing, photography, pictures of the floating world, Plum Blossom Viewing At Night, poems, polychrome, printer ukiyoe, prints, recreating, Suzuki, Suzuki Harunobu, ukiyoe prints, Vik Muniz, woodblock printmaking, woodblock prints
Plum Blossom Viewing At Night, After Harunobu (2012)
By Vik Muniz
Digital c-print; number one from an edition of five plus one artist’s proof
Signed and dated ‘Vik Muniz 2012’ (on a paper label affixed to the reverse)
Size: 156.2 x 100.3 centimetres (61.5 x 39.5 inches)
Estimated price: $15,000-20,000
During the Edo period (1603-1868) Japan experienced continued economic growth and social change. The era was characterised by an increasing national interest in arts and culture. Popular topics from literature and poems were depicted in woodblock prints. The artist Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770), a Japanese illustrator, bookmaker and printer was a central figure in developing the art of ukiyoe (pictures of the floating world) woodblock printmaking during the mid-Edo period.
One of his great achievements was the introduction, in 1765, of the first full-colour printing technique to Japan, known as nishiki-e. He employed this new technique to ukiyoe prints using up to 10 different colours on a single sheet of paper. The results were beautifully crafted and richly coloured images. His polychrome prints inspired the next generation of Japanese artists.
The contemporary artist Vik Muniz (b 1961) is known for recreating famous artworks throughout art history and photographing them. In the present work, Muniz captures Harunobu’s beautiful print Plum Blossom Viewing At Night with the most common method of colour photographic printing of our time: the digital c-print.
Christie’s auction, First Open, will take place in New York at the Rockefeller Plaza on March 8, 2013. For further information please visit http://www.christies.com.
First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on March 3, 2013.