PORTFOLIO > irezumi

printmaking gyotaku ukiyo-e sumi tattoo backpiece
Arm #1
woodcut/ skinprint
paper 38'' x 12''
2008

Honolulu Printmakers Annual Juried exhibition 2008
Award for excellence in relief printmaking

The coexistence of beauty and eeriness in japanese fishprints (Gyotaku) inspired
me to adapt the technique to the human body , and combine it with a tattooedimage executed as in japanese ukiyo-e (woodblockprinting).
I paint sumi ink upon an actual persons body, lay Japanese paper over the inked up skin and print the same, wich leaves a rough impression of the human shape, sometimes pores and Hair become visible…
Then I create a tattoo for this particular persons edition of ‘’Gyotaku’’ prints. The Tattoo is carved as woodblocks, inked and printed as in traditional Ukiyo-e printmaking.
In Japanese history there is a tight link between Ukio-e and tattooing.