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AZURI-E

Aizuri-e (藍摺絵), refers to Japanese woodblock prints using mainly blue color. In Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, “ao" (blue) was favored by a large number of artists. Blue is considered to be a cool and cold color, simple, but elegant. A remarkable number of masterpieces of Ukiyoe art were impressive by the use of blue color, such as Katsushika Hokusai’s world-famous The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

 

Blue was the representative of Japanese popular culture. This quality of blue matches Japanese traditional aesthetics, such as shibui (渋い), which refers to an appreciation of simplicity and refinement. Blue also fits the concept of iki (粋), which appreciates the beauty of contradiction of simplicity and elegance.

 

The blue photographs in this portfolio were printed as Cyanotpes, one of the earliest photographic printing processes. They attempt to apply “shibui” and “iki” aesthetics to the photographic process.