James Jean

The Editor -Cutaway-

The Editor prunes away superfluous parts to leave what is essential. "Cutaway," the subtitle added to this work, shows the commonality between the work and the technique used in woodcut prints of cutting away unneeded parts from the woodblock and leaving only the essential lines.
The Editor prunes the branches emerging from the planter on her lap. The eyes at the ends of the branches are eyes that see the truth -- a reference to a painting of Saint Lucy by Francesco Del Cossa. Within the planter are touchstones that can be used to test for gold. This is a portrait of the Editor who distinguishes what is absolutely essential in order to move closer to the truth.

Jean draws the female figure with the exquisite lines he is known for.

The sketch Jean drew.

The outline drawn by Jean is carved to produce smooth, raised lines.

The completed main woodblock (omohan), which is used to print the thin black outlines on a woodblock print.
The beautiful lines drawn by Jean were faithfully reproduced.

Printed individually by hand, each ukiyo-e displays the vivid colors that are blended by the printer and are a unique feature of woodcut prints.

Subtle gradations of color are used to give delicate nuances to the portrait.

A special embossing technique called karazuri was utilized for the white sections of the background. A raised design was created on the surface of the paper, giving dimension to the work.

The ukiyo-e is printed on Echizen kizuki hosho washi (a unique kind of Japanese paper) handmade from 100% paper-mulberry fibers by Ichibei Iwano, a living national treasure.

Focusing all of his attention on the point of his knife, the carver creates smooth, elegant lines.

Always viewing everything in the universe from his own unique perspective, James Jean fluidly expresses his world view through beautiful lines. The carver deciphers the intention of the artist, James Jean, and rhythmically carves the gracefully flowing lines. The carver's intense focus and precision is required for the work of carving delicate lines with a single knife.

Light and brilliant colors are born from materials and techniques that are unique to Japan.

The light and brilliant colors of traditional woodcut prints is produced by using a Baren rubbing pad to rub water-based paints into the fibers of the paper, which is carefully handcrafted from paper mulberry. The printer feels the world view of Jean and his artwork "The Editor" as he mixes and prints the colors on top of one another.

James Jean

James Jean was born in Taiwan and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Renowned for his virtuosic ability to work across different genres with an imaginative and multifaceted approach to image making, he has held exhibitions of his fine art in New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Jean fuses contemporary subjects with aesthetic techniques inspired by traditional Chinese scroll paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, and Renaissance portraiture. By experimenting with different styles and art-historical genres, Jean depicts detailed cosmological worlds that focus on both individual and universal experiences. Layered with imagery drawn from contemporary culture and age-old allegories, he imagines a collective realm of mythological proportions. After a groundbreaking collaboration with Prada for their fabled Spring/Summer 2008 collection, Jean returns for Prada's Resort and Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Jean also worked closely with Guillermo del Toro on the poster for the Oscar-winning film, The Shape of Water.

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April 21, 2020
The Aadchi Institute of Woodcut Prints
Limited Edition:
Dimension of picture:
Dimension of frame:
56.0×44.0㎝  Original Frame
Specification of frame:
Approx. 2.0kg, wood, acrylic resin
Type of print:
Woodcut print
Paper used:
Echizen kizuki hosho washi (produced by living national treasure Ichibei Iwano)
Date of publication:
April 2020
The Adachi Foundation for the Preservation of Woodcut Printing
The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints
Delivery will begin from the mid May