This features an Asian crane flying across the red disc of the rising sun at the horizon.
I loved this image when I first saw it on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website. This was a woodblock print created by 八島岳亭 (Yoshima Gakutei) back in about 1835. All of the prints were created so long ago that they all show a loss of detail and portions were clipped. I spent many hours working on the restoration of the image. You can now enjoy how this would have looked 183 years ago, but for a price you can afford. I also cheated a little, as the original was a little over 8" (20cm) wide. Mine is almost 30% wider, so it makes a better presentation on your wall.
On the right, you will see the artist's given name, 岳亭, written vertically, in black characters. Below, a red stamp appears to be a circle around a 島 character. But the circle is actually a stylized 八 character (see the breaks at the top and bottom of that oval/circle? Those make it two strokes, hence 八). This is 八島 (Yoshima), the artist's surname portion of his signature for this piece. Upon first glance, some may think it's just a circle around 島 (Note: 島 means island by itself).
At the top, there are some poems. While this is Japanese artwork, on the right is an ancient Chinese ode or poem that speaks of the horizon meeting the red-crowned crane over and over for rebirths that expand 1000 years of history in China. The text on this artwork is written in vertical columns, starting from the right, as all old Chinese writing does. Below are the characters. I typed them left-to-right like English:
I have not found anyone who can translate the ancient Japanese poem on the upper left. The last characters on the far right are 倭和夛守. However, I am not sure of the third character. It seems to be a variant that is no longer used. It might be a variant of 多 or 尋, but nobody that looked at this was sure. Also not sure of the meaning, maybe a personal name.
The artist is believed to be the illegitimate son of Samura Hirata under the Totugawa Shogunate. His mother later married into the Yashima Clan, thus the artist taking the surname Yashima.
The unofficial Japanese title of this piece is 旭日飛鶴 (Kyokujitsu Hikaku) which means, "Sun Rising, Flying Cranes." However, this same title is given to many images of cranes flying by a sunrise.
I printed this on handmade kozo (mulberry) paper, the same kind of paper used to make Japanese woodblock prints for centuries. It was then sent to my workshop in Beijing where this handmade wall scroll was constructed. Just put a hook or nail in your wall and you have a classic piece of Japanese artwork.
Between the many hours I spent restoring the image quality, printer cost, ink, other labor, and other materials, I will never make any profit on these, but it's a labor of love. I really like this image of a crane and wanted to bring it to the world.
About My Giclée Prints
I'm really into this as a hobby more than a business, but that means I have more dedication to the art than the profit.
I love to experiment with different papers and graphic designs until I find the perfect combination.
Quality really matters to me, and is also more important than profit.
There's another fine art print shop down the street that charges twice as much as I do - so maybe I am doing something wrong, but you benefit from my folly.
It took me a few years to find just the right fine art giclée printer.
The first printer handled the handmade papers from Japan and China really well, but the dye-based ink could fade in direct sunlight (dye-based inks are not good for long-lasting art).
The next printer was a huge HP DesignJet. I spent almost $7000 on the used printer, new heads, and new ink tanks just get it going. However, it constantly jammed when trying to feed these fine papers. I sold it for $1200 - ouch!
I finally bought a wonderful Canon imagePROGRAF PRO Series. A big investment (printer and initial ink, about $6000) but this time it was a good investment.
This Canon printer has 18,432 nozzles and can fire more than 32 Million precision droplets of ink per second. Your home inkjet printer cannot compete with that.
There are 12 ink tanks, and with so many ink colors, the gamut is excellent.
This printer can reproduce any color the human eye can perceive, and the gradients and tones are smooth and, well, perfect.
I use only authentic Canon Lucia Pro pigment-based inks. This ink is archival and UV-resistant. In independent laboratory testing, giclée prints created with this ink are rated to last 95 years without fading (but still don't hang this in direct sunlight). I figure you'll get a lifetime of enjoyment if you take good care of this artwork.
Want a customized wall scroll or custom-sized print? Just contact me!
I can print this larger, on the paper texture of your choice, and give you whatever silk brocade colors you want. Ready-to-frame prints can be delivered in a few days. However, it does take several weeks for custom wall scrolls. Either way, it's worth the wait if you want something really custom and unique.