June 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Sunday, November 7, 2011:
John Wood and I left about 8AM for Amtrack in Providence to greet Yamamoto Masao, his wife Reiko, and his manager Seiko Uyeda. We corresponded with Masao and Reiko with the generous help of Seiko as translator, but this was our first meeting. The three appear at once together and seem to recognize something about us. They are instantly delightful.
On the way back to Cape Cod, Seiko shared a story that Masao told on the train coming in from New York to Providence. For some reason, he had had an encounter with a Master of sorts, a man whose Japanese sword–a Stradivarius of swords, a work of art–meant a great deal to him. He insisted that Masao take it home with him to photograph. Masao was nervous when he told him just to send it back via UPS! Upon his next visit with the Master, and to Masao’s surprise, he told him that the sword’s energy revealed that Masao had a difficult time photographing it. He was correct.
As soon as we crossed the Bourne Bridge, John suggested that we offer the front seat to Masao so he could photograph while we traveled toward Brewster on the old historic Route 6A. He reluctantly agreed and after a short time said that the road was “too beautiful to photograph” and that what he liked revealing in his work were imperfections.
I wanted to show everyone one of my favorite spots where a small bridge crossed an inlet with a strong tide. As I approached Keveney Lane to the left, I saw “Bridge Closed,” but I turned anyway. It was a cold day and on our way down this short road we passed a hooded young man on the left, walking slow and determined. He turned and nodded as if he expected us. Without having mentioned it to Masao, I was surprised that he later mentioned it to me.
I stopped the car in front of the gravel pile blocking the street and before the bridge, then opened my door to find a decomposing tree trunk hollowed on one side. In the center was a lovely ceramic vase with a partly broken rim at the narrowed top. I thought, imperfection! I looked at Masao and he jumped from the car with his camera like he was greeting an old friend. From the driveway on the other side of the car appeared a man who greeted us. He said that he had just placed the vase in the tree trunk, but at the time wasn’t sure why. Then, without missing a beat, the young hooded man we had passed on the way appeared on foot carrying a Japanese sword and explained he was studying Japanese martial arts and that he had been taking that precise walk for two years.
In those brief and lyrical moments, Masao, Reiko, Seiko, John, and I together were witnesses in unison to our own completely uninterrupted attention. Was this a gift brought by a Master? He would likely not have had intended it, because he was just being Yamamoto Masao.
The three Prism book and print sets (Yamamoto Masao, Mitch Dobrowner and Jack Spencer) are a hybrid between the finest offset printing by the Studley Press and a Pam Clark and Travis Becker (Twinrocker Paper) designed handmade paper for the cover. With three different sets of prints, 21st Editions has presented a spectrum of printing processes from offset to platinum (Yamamoto) to silver-contact (Dobrowner) to hand-varnished pigment ink (Spencer). These traditional style monographs are presented with the intention of showing a broad range of the artist’s work with from 65-110 images. Scholarly essays by John Wood (Yamamoto), Dafydd Wood (Dobrowner), and Steven Brown (Spencer) reinforce the importance of the marriage of the word and the image as a primary 21st Editions objective.
January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
“On suiseki: The appreciation of stones that suggested mountains, landscapes, animals, and other forms developed in China where they had been collected and revered by the literati since at least the T’ang dynasty. They were classified by varieties: elegant rocks, fantastic rocks, admirable rocks, and stubborn rocks. However, with the arrival in Japan of Zen, a new stone aesthetic developed. What came to be admired were simpler, less ostentatious, more austere, and quieter stones, stones that reflected inner awareness and spiritual refinement.”
May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
Master carpenter Chris Leanarts is now in the process of further curing the wood, a rare Oregon raised, instrument grade cedar, for the custom handmade box that will house the Deluxe Edition of Yamamoto Masao. The rate at which the wood is cured is critical and needs to be watched carefully. Upon walking into Chris’s studio, Mark Tomlinson (book binder on this project) said the aroma of the wood was a strong as putting your nose into a jar of Vick’s Vapor Rub!
January 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Just back from Photo LA. On considering and reflecting on our success, a few thoughts on what it means to me:
…the ability for me to manifest my passion, as well as the passion of others through the making of 21st Editions/Legacy Editions books and show them in a great city like Los Angeles. « Read the rest of this entry »
January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
As the 21st Editions/Legacy Editions team leaves for Photo L.A. in Los Angeles, amidst the changes in both the economy and the show itself, our excitement and enthusiasm for the show and for this new year continues to grow.
Accompanying me to Photo L.A. will be Pam Clark and Crissy Welzen, both of whom will be designing our booth (B-208) which will be found in the far left corner of the show. Our strong optimism for 2011 has been underscored by a very strong response to the announcement of Yamamoto Masao, the first title in our new Prism monograph series of books, and the initial sales of it in the first week. We have taken many orders from new and ongoing collectors, as well. Yamamoto and his work are clearly loved in the world of contemporary fine-art photography. « Read the rest of this entry »
January 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
21st Editions is extremely pleased to announce the publication of YAMAMOTO MASAO, a celebration of the work of one of the world’s leading artists, a Japanese master whose photographs reflect centuries of aesthetic tradition and encapsulate the essence of Zen.
This publication inaugurates 21st Editions’ new Prism Series which consists of 280 boxed copies bound in a wrapped handmade paper. The Prism book is accompanied by your choice of one of four signed platinum prints. The prints are limited to an edition of 70, with only 50 copies of each version for sale.
January 5, 2011 § 1 Comment
Sunday, November 7, 2011:John Wood (my dear friend of twelve years, as well as editor and co-founder of 21ST Editions) and I leave about 8AM for Amtrack in Providence to greet and retrieve Yamamoto Masao, his wife Reiko, and his manager Seiko Uyeda. We’ve corresponded with Masao and Reiko with the generous help of Seiko translating for us, but this is our first meeting. The three appear at once together and recognize something about us. They are instantly delightful.
On the way back to Cape Cod, Seiko tells us of a story that Masao related on the train fromNew York to Providence. For some reason, he met a Master of sorts, a man whose Japanese sword – a Stradivarius of swords, a work of art – meant a great deal to him. He insisted that Masao take it home with him to photograph and then send it back via UPS! Upon his next visit with the Master, and to Masao’s surprise, he told him that the sword’s energy revealed that Masao had a difficult time photographing it, which he did. « Read the rest of this entry »