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Here is my tenth Piezography print. For those who are not familiar with Piezography, it is a black and white photography printing method. It utilizes color inkjet printers, but the method uses black inks in the color heads, expressing varying degrees of grays instead of grays expressed with black dots. You load a special software to your computer which controls appropriate actions of the heads to produce black and white prints. It sounds complicated, but once your equipment is set up, it continues to work reliably. In fact, to me, one of the best things about it is its solidness in producing consistent results. It allows me to concentrate on the making part instead of getting bogged down with the technical part. A photographer friend of mine, Brian Miller, told me about it years ago, praising its exceptional print quality.
I start from a scanned drawing. Then I work on the image on the screen. After a meticulous and long editing process, back and forth from screen to paper, and vice verse, I arrive at a finished print. So the prints are not reproductions; there are multiples but each of them is an original.
For those interested in the prints, please take a look at the print section of the site. The new one will be added shortly.
B18-01, Piezography on archival cotton paper, variable sizes, 2019-22
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Here is the 7th Piezography print. I’ve struggled quite a bit but I am very happy with how it turned out. The whole struggle with the print project is to express subtlety, gentleness, warmth, tangible mass of black emerging from actual ink hitting the paper as opposed to how we perceive the image on screen. Doing so with a digital software is certainly a challenge that requires more time and trials and errors. It has been very rewarding and educational, and very much humbling as well.
Guild Hall Show Opens Today
I am very happy about how the show turned out. The new piece (pictured below) was safely brought into the museum. It is surrounded by five of my Piezography prints. Scroll down for some images from the show…
82, 78 x 61 x 26 inches, pigmented resin, 2017-18
Hiroyuki Hamada: Sculptures and Prints
February 24, 2018 – March 25, 2018
Reception: February 25, 2018, 2:00pm- 4:00pm
Gallery Talk with Hiroyuki Hamada: March 10, 2018 2:00pm
Address: 158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937
Click to enlarge
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Finally, here is a second Piezography print.
Making Piezography prints turns out to be much more challenging than I expected. The subtle differences between an image on a screen and an image on paper are quite large when one actually confronts them.
I suppose that the difficulty partially comes from the fact that the images are already done on screen. There is a step of translating in printing them. As I already mentioned, our computer screen generally has a much wider range of dark and light, but on paper we have a tactile subtlety that can’t be matched with an image on screen, at least not today. The Piezography printer setup simply has the capability to print with higher resolution than what we see on screen. Also there must be some fundamental differences in perceiving an image with an artificial light source behind the screen and an actual object reflecting a natural light source.
As we are all aware, the visual experience on the web truncates part of our perception and renders it somewhat different than the actual experience. But I guess that’s a topic that should be discussed separately.
Jon Cone, the developer of Piezography, provides a preview setting for Photoshop which mimics how the image will appear on paper. The setting is quite useful in the process and I will certainly use it for making new images.
I can describe the general difference between screen and paper but simply translating it mechanically just doesn’t work as you’d imagine. It’s like playing the same song with different instruments perhaps. I want to fully utilize the timbre of the printing method. And since I am the one who came up with the visual narrative, naturally, I feel the liberty of turning the process into a whole new making process.
Anyway, I’m very happy with the print. Hope you like it too.