Brooks Jensen Arts

Uchiwa-e

The Fan Prints

Uchiwa-e

The uchiwa, or rigid paper fan, is a practical device in the heat of Japan. Over the centuries, uchiwa have become an art form with a charm all their own. The paper prints that are used to make fans are called uchiwa-e, the suffix indicating the print itself.

I first became acquainted with the beauty of these designs in the book Hiroshige Fan Prints by Rupert Faulkner, published in 2001 by Victoria and Albert Museum, London, as part of their Far Eastern Series. As a long-time admirer of ukiyo-e prints, these fan-shaped images include a unique compositional element that introduce non-rectangle borders to the design. I was mesmerized. Thus was born the inspiration to use a similar composition with my photographs.

In the fall of 2009, I traveled to Japan with an experiment in mind of making photographs for the uchiwa format. I now understand why this format suited the Japanese printmakers so well; everywhere I turned I found subjects ideally suited to the fan-shaped image.

The six “chapters” in this project represent autumn in Japan — at least to me. Because I am not a native Japanese person, I’m limited to experiencing their culture and seasons through the filter of a Westerner’s eyes and aesthetic. Nonetheless, the senses of wabi and yugen, furyu and sabi that have been written about with such frequency in discussions of Japanese aesthetics do resonate with me.

In Six Chapters

Click on the images below to jump to each chapter

Momiji

(Maple Leaves)

Momiji

O-take

(Bamboo)

O-take

Shizen

(Nature)

Shizen

Furusato

(Ancestral Home)

Furusato

Jiin

(Temples)

Jiin

Hikage

(Shadows)

Hikage

Uchiwa-e PDF

iPad Monograph Edition (PDF)

iPad Available as a free iPad Monograph from the downloads page.

Six chapters containing all 60 images in the series. This free Acrobat PDF is a stand-alone, enhanced screen resolution (150dpi) e-book that serves a an ideal introduction to the project. Although it contains all the images, it does not have the audio or video that appears in the disc version.

Downloads page

Uchiwa-e DVD

The Making of the Uchiwa-e Series companion computer DVD

This expanded, companion disc includes multimedia PDFs with…

  • Audio comments on selected images
  • A video interview with Brooks Jensen
  • A special video recorded in Japan at one
    of the sites photographed in this project.
  • Beyond the Rectangle, a LensWork Creative Lab on creating non-quadrilateral images.
The computer DVD disc also includes a special video training program published as part of the LensWork Creative Labs titled Beyond the Rectangle. In this video training program, Brooks takes you through a step-by-step video tutorial on how to create non-rectangular images like these uchiwa-shaped images. Using either Adobe InDesign™ or Adobe Photoshop™, you can explore non-rectangular images for your work once you see how it can be done with either of these two popular software programs.

The Making of the Uchiwa-e Series computer DVD disc will be included as a free bonus with all orders of one or more folios, or it can be purchased online for $15 (plus shipping & handling).

Shizen Folio

Six folios of 10 prints each

Each of the six chapters of Uchiwa-e are available as an independent folio of 10 prints each

Momiji (Maple Leaves)

O-take (Bamboo)

Shizen (Nature)

Furusato (Ancestral Home)

Jiin (Temples)

Hikage (Shadows)

These links open a separate web page for each folio. In these pages you can explore each of the folios in more detail as well as see the complete selection of prints.

 

Momiji

The complete set of all six folios

The complete set of all six folios is available at the discounted price of $495. The complete set can be ordered here.