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Report : HARIBAN AWARD 2014 Artist Residency

Posted by takumi suzuki on 10.2014 English   0 comments   0 trackback
Reporting fulfilling 2weeks stay of Awoiska, the grand-prize winner.

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Although it’s evening of her last day in Kyoto, Still checking prints!

award summary
HARBAN AWARD 2014 Booklet: Outline of Award results

Hi. I’m Fujioka, the manager of the collotype gallery.
As we have been reporting, Benrido collotype atelier held “Hariban Award, the first”. We had received as much as 131 applicants from all over the Asia and the west. From those, Ms. Awoiska van der Molen from Netherlands was selected for the Grand prize winner. → past article about her here. Awoiska stayed in Kyoto for two weeks (September 29th to October 10th) to collotype her works together with artisans. Let me report about her stay today.


"Awoiska van der Molen was a strong choice for the Grand Prize of the Hariban Award 2014" -- Simon Baker

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Awoiska in front of the large monochrome print by herself @Purdy Hicks Gallery, PARIS PHOTO

Awoiska van der Molen was a strong choice for the Grand Prize of the Hariban Award 2014, and richly deserves the exciting opportunity to work with the skilled technicians at Benrido. Her work is among the finest contemporary black and white photography being produced in Europe at the moment, and her own print-making of an exceptionally high quality. But it is also true to say that in her exquisite images of nature especially, through her close attention to the play of light and shadow have much in common with some of the historic masterpieces produced as collotypes at Benrido. As such her work, with its subtle gradation and tone and sensitivity to the details of natural forms is perfectly suited to the potential offered through the collotype process. Van der Molen, who has just published her first monograph, is at an exciting and promising moment in her career, and the jury was extremely happy to have the chance to offer her the Grand Prize.

Simon Baker
On behalf of the jury, Hariban Award 2014

⇒ Please also look at “HARIBAN AWARD 2014 Summary” here

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Her first picture book published just before her departure to Japan. Sequester - Awoiska van del Molen €40,00

Her first book《Sequester》was nominated for the short list of the first book category of Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. With great response, 750copies of the first edition were gone so quickly.

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Photo book award booth at Paris photo. Attention to her book was high.


Awoiska’s arrival in Japan

On September 29th, Netherlands to Kansai international airport, then to Kyoto station, and she finally arrived at Benrido. I met her with nervousness. First of all, we took her an atelier tour, and then she experienced printing collotype her own photograph by herself. We would like her to know outline of collotype. Because of big time lag between Netherlands and Japan, she must have been very tired but I was thinking her stay started in warm mood. But there were already lots of difficulties on site.

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Awoiska’s photographs! They have strong shadow parts such as Deep Deep forests, ridgeline of mountains and rough rocks. They also have soft light, mist, white lines like lightning. High contrast or not? Her unique sense of near and far makes unique atmosphere on her pictures. Can we collotype such works? On the contrary, that’s why her works are the best “materials” to challenge to pursue collotype’s potential.


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At first, we checked digital files of her works together, and asked details of her wishes about all eight pictures. Based on her wishes, plate making engineer Mr. Matsuzaki added retouch imagining finished prints. This start is the most important. Having some problems of resolutions etc, but Matsuzaki worked very patiently to make them close to Awoiska’s images in her mind.

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Print size 20×24 inches (about 51×61cm). This is the largest size normal collotype machine can print. Especially printing museum quality “works” is beyond the word “difficult”. But we took a trick to let people know how incomparably wonderful collotype is.

無題1

After testing several papers including Kozo and Torinoko, Awoiska decided to use Ganpi Paper. Ganpi is the most suitable to express smooth gradations which is the best part of collotype. But Ganpi is delicate and thin. We worried if it can resist Awoiska works with thick ink necessary especially in shadow parts.

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Awoiska is Dutch. She speaks English. But we don’t much. So we asked Currie Mariko(far left) her interpreter for Awoiska. She did it all day for two weeks.
She had just got to know collotype herself. But she studied about it very hard and interpreted Awoiska and artisans’ ideas and feelings very well. She also supported Awoiska who stayed Japan for the first time. Thank you very much.

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Matsuzaki and Katsuo Takeuchi (Printing specialist) worked for Awoiska’s photographs all day long. Usually calm Awoiska was so serious in front of one test piece after another and told severe comments.

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Artisans Matsuoka and Takeuchi explained intentions of expression to her, and tried so hard to understand her wishes as much as possible. That kind of conversation was done repeatedly many times for all 8 works. When finally getting OKs, it was already the second half of the second week. This “Battle” had continued until the very last time of the last day, and finally heart shapes were given to all eight works.

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See you again!

So the good-bye has come. Awoiska and artisans Takeuchi, Matsuzaki did the best for each other, so their good-bye was …..like Japanese TV show “Ururun Taizaiki”
It was the first HARIBAN AWARD and the first artist stay. To tell the truth, I was worried quite a bit to accept a foreign artist photographer for as long as two weeks before it started. But as I was impressed by getting to know Awoiska’s cheerful, friendly warm and sincere personality, my anxiety was relieved. We somehow achieved the goal we set at first. The days were fulfilling. See you next spring.

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HARIBAN AWARD doesn’t pay prize money. It’s not prestigious either so far. Nevertheless we had this many applicants. Not to gain money or fame, there is a true pleasure to pursue the potential of techniques and produce works, professional and professional working together.

The works produced at this time will be represented at Kyotographie 2015 at next spring as an official program. Call for entry HARIBAN AWARD 2015 will start at the same time. We look forward to seeing you, seeing wonderful works.


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Author:takumi suzuki
【コロタイプの過去・現在・未来。創業明治20年の京都 便利堂が100年以上にわたって続けているコロタイプ工房より最新の情報をお届けします】
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