we are deeply humbled to have a unique opportunity to offer our art as a platino-palladiotype print (“platinum-palladium print”) made by hand by the master photographer and print maker, mr. nobuyuki kobayashi.
the platinum-palladium print uses platinum – the most stable metal on earth. with its rich gradation expression, this technique produces the most beautiful black and white prints of all various printing methods. nobuyuki-san applies platinum print on hosokawa washi paper a product that has been made in the same way since 1642. the hosokawa paper is handmade using this slow, traditional and methodical technique.
nobuyuki-san: “in using washi paper as support medium, i have to leave it for three to five years after i make it to get to dry completely”, and only then does he hand-cut it into pieces. a long and involved manual process of removing stray hairs, dust and imperfections is undertaken for each sheet. after cutting and purifying the surface of the paper, a surface treatment is applied using such materials as pine resin, often used by japanese painters. this surface-treated washi is then dried anew and is used as the support medium.
with the stability of the platinum and the durability of hosokawa paper, it is said that the print could be stored for more than 1000 years.
silver halide photography, or gelatin silver print is popular amongst collectors. compared with this, the range of gradation that can be expressed with platinum printing is completely different. platinum printing can recreate the dynamic range visible to the human eye.
many people can offer platinum prints, but nobuyuki-san understands why these ‘myriads of gods’ have begun to show themselves and this is the reason he chooses to print them in the most sublime manner.
mr. nobuyuki kobayashi, in his own words: “i use washi paper as the support medium when i make platinum prints. however, as a matter of fact, this process is flawed. people say that platinum printing is probably the most beautiful printing technique in the world, whereas washi paper has a coarse texture. washi paper is made from wood fiber, and consequently, it has a fiber-like texture. plus, the washi paper that i use is made from kozo, which has the coarsest texture among all materials used for making washi. the paper itself is very rough. there is nothing more preposterous than rendering delicate prints on this rough paper. however, when i engage in the printing process, i find this mismatch very appealing. i take photographs of nature and gods. when the textures of grasses, trees, and other things seen in nature are combined with the feel of washi paper, a mysterious spatial effect is created, along with a mysterious dazzle. this dazzle, the metallic feel of platinum, the sparkles, and the presence of nature; the mismatch creates a marvelous harmony. this moment is extremely beautiful. i feel that i need to create things that makes people stop and take the time to think. the reason i stick to my ways upon creating my work is … “capturing myriads of gods” is the fundamental theme of my work, but there is another important element. the other theme is … what i want to take are not photos that are merely being consumed but photos that will stay in existence for eternity. i want to capture and preserve things that have the possibility to disappear. for example, people are raging over the destruction of the environment and nature. perhaps, if we continue to destroy nature for the sake of convenience and civilisation, someday, i don’t know when, but someday, nature may actually disappear. i don’t know whether this scenario will happen in 10, or 50, or even 200 years. as such, i want to preserve them. i want to capture them. i want to confront them. if i want to preserve certain things that exist in this world, and then think about the kind of process to take and the kind of form to use to preserve them, one of the options that appeals to me is platinum printing. for example, the reason i use washi, or i choose hosokawa paper made in ogawa-machi, and not other washi paper made in other areas is this paper has been proven to last for 1,000 years. by using such type of durable paper and applying prints that do not age, my work, which demonstrates my thoughts, will survive for 1,000 years … i want to preserve beautiful things as beautiful as they can possibly be. i want to preserve them for hundreds of years or even thousands of years. i want for them not to betray a trace of ageing. this is how i feel. i do it not merely for arrogance or self-satisfaction. i want to preserve things so that our descendants can see that this kind of nature and these landscapes existed
on earth. i want to pass them on. in a way, i feel like i have to. this is why i want to stick to my ways; my sheer persistence helps me create a lasting legacy.”
our arts, as platinum-palladium prints on hosokawa washi paper, hand printed by the master nobuyuki-san, are made in 11×14” size.
for more information on the master photographer nobuyuki-san, please visit his website https://zenne-inc.com/en.html
please, also, watch his beautiful video at https://vimeo.com/91495217. it is time well spent.