ukiyo-e project celebrates david bowie with limited-edition woodblock prints

ukiyo-e project celebrates david bowie with limited-edition woodblock prints

ukiyo-e project pays homage to the late david bowie and his fascination with japan in a set of unique woodblock prints. after his initial interest in kabuki theater aesthetics, where many of his exaggerated costumes and make-up originate, bowie’s deep cultural relationship with japan manifested in his collaborations with fashion designer kansai yamamoto, musicians like tomoyasu hotei and filmmaker nagisa oshima. taking this fascination full circle, ukiyo-e project has used two of bowie’s iconic photographs, and translated them into traditional woodblock prints illustrated by ukiyo-e artist masumi ishikawa.

ukiyo-e project celebrates david bowie with limited-edition woodblock prints
david bowie shapeshifting comparison ‘takezawa toji’ (diamond dogs)
courtesy of ukiyo-e project



in collaboration with two of the world’s most renowned photographers, brian duffy and terry o’ neil, ukiyo-e project has created the two limited-edition woodblock prints as reinterpretations fused with elements of kabuki. the first print reimagines david bowie in brian duffy’s shot for the 1973 aladdin sane cover as a japanese sorcerer from the kamakura period, while the second print sees bowie in the role of takezawa toji, a magician popular for his tricks and gimmicks during the edo period, merged with terry o’ neil’s 1974 promotional shot for the diamond dogs. the prints will be on display from  23 june to 1 july at the marc jacobs-owned bookmarc in tokyo, and online sale will start 23 june with a limited amount of copies on ukiyo-e’s website.

ukiyo-e project celebrates david bowie with limited-edition woodblock prints
the original shot of david bowie, diamond dogs, 1974
© terry o’neill and mouche gallery

ukiyo-e project celebrates david bowie with limited-edition woodblock prints
courtesy of ukiyo-e project

ukiyo-e project celebrates david bowie with limited-edition woodblock prints 
the original shot of david bowie, aladdin sane, eyes open, 1973
image © duffy archive

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