The Purpose of this Exhibition
‘Alternative Photo Processing’ is an alternative to photographic expression using machine-made materials. The emphasis in the exhibition is on the handmade photograph, which connects the contemporary photograph with traditional 19th century printing methods which even in their time were not the mainstream way of producing a printed image.
In recent decades the Platinum Print has become a popular photographic printing process in fine art photography for enabling the photographer to express a unique and beautiful vision. Its archival quality is so high that conservators expect it to retain its appearance for up to five hundred years.
Even with the prevalence today of digital photography, artists have been drawn to printing their images on handmade papers with their incomparable texture and charm. Photographers have expressed an idea of the paper giving the image more of a feeling of presence.
For the Platinum Print, the print base, namely, printing paper is a key material. Although papers made from cotton rag are popularly selected as printing paper, in recent years Washi received some attention. Washi produced in various parts of Japan is a favorite. In particular, Ganpishi is highly sought after. Yet with all of these options, it is difficult to find the ideal paper printing photographs by hand.
The curators of this exhibition, Satoru Yoshioka and Ayako Yoshioka, strongly advocate the use of Tosawashi through the collaborative project of ‘Towasashi Products’, involving Masayuki Nishimaru of PGI (Photo Gallery International), who has actively researched the platinum printing technique and the young Washi artisan group ‘Tosa no Yama Kami Shigen no Kai’ (an association for maintaining the making of Tosa and paper resources). The resulting Washi for Platinum Print made from Tosa’s kozo was developed with the assistance of Ino Cho Koyo Sozo kyogikai (Ino Town Employment Generation Project Corporation).
The printing paper for the Platinum Print, called Tosahakkinshi the product of repeated tests and trials. This paper has a beautiful and elegant texture only Kozo is capable of conveying, which stands apart from Ganpi’s texture.
This exhibition will present the Platinum Print on Tosahakkinshi as well as other Alternative Photographic methods done in unique artistic styles by five artists from Japan and the United States. The elegant image resulting from the Platinum Print and other photographic methods on Tosa Washi will be fully on view.