japanese craftsmen interpret star wars scenes through woodblock printing
 
japanese craftsmen interpret star wars scenes through woodblock printing japanese craftsmen interpret star wars scenes through woodblock printing
jul 15, 2015

japanese craftsmen interpret star wars scenes through woodblock printing

japanese craftsmen interpret star wars through traditional woodblock printing
all images courtesy of makuake

 

 

 

how do you reignite interest in a centuries-old craft, where patience, dexterity and technical mastery exceed the standard of today’s poster-making practices? the ‘rhythm force‘ project suggests introducing a contemporary cult classic, like star wars, to the scene.

star wars woodblock printing
detail of darth vader poster

 

 

 

the project, debuting on japanese crowdfunding site makuake, comprises three compositions that unite star wars characters, settings and scenes with traditional woodblock prints known as ‘ukiyo-e’. this genre flourished in japan from the 17th through 19th centuries, typically depicting popular themes of the time such as kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, folk tales, landscapes, and flora and fauna.

star wars woodblock printing
detail of japanese writing

 

 

 

these motifs have been reinterpreted and reconsidered to suit images sourced from the film franchise, like darth vader wielding a lightsaber and a scene from the battle of hoth. each graphic has been meticulously hand-carved by a wood sculptor, who creates multiple blocks for each represented color created by the painter. finally, another craftsman prints the final result on japanese paper — 200 limited edition copies have been made of each star wars composition.

star wars woodblock printing
a scene from the battle of hoth is interpreted through woodblock printing techniques

star wars woodblock printing
detail of the composition

star wars woodblock printing
tiny characters are pictured in the scene

star wars woodblock printing
an interpretation of the character queen amidala

star wars woodblock printing
detail of R2-D2 in the scene

star wars woodblock printing
an traditional reinterpretation of a jawa from the star wars series

 

 

star wars woodblock printing
the painter creates the original outlines of each composition

star wars woodblock printing
a woodcarver sculpts the blocks with a blade

star wars woodblock printing
details are carved into the surface of the wood

star wars woodblock printing
different blocks are made for each color represented in the graphic

star wars woodblock printing
detail of the woodblock of the scene from the battle of hoth

star wars woodblock printing
ink is applied to the surface of the woodcut

star wars woodblock printing
japanese paper is pressed against the ink

star wars woodblock printing
the final poster (left) next to one of the woodblocks used in its making

  • This. Is. Awesome!

    Doggy says:
  • These are fantastic; thanks for the article! I wonder whether there will ever be giclée prints of these … I’d buy a set to be sure. I suspect that any of the 200 originals that get resold will go for a pretty high price.

    On a side note, I suspect that the hooded individual inset in the image of Amidala and R2-D2 is probably meant to be Anakin, not a Jawa.

    LT says:
  • the irony is the movie it itself based on The Hidden Fortress…

    Tyler C says:

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