These linocut prints are made by French artist Olivier Pichard, who is part of the collaborative Atelier Sentô. Their work is inspired by their travels in Japan, and I appreciate the combination of traditional and contemporary imagery in these prints.
“Through our work we would like to show an unusual side of Japan, made up of small villages in the mountains, festivals, forgotten spirits,” they say.
The artist notes these are hand-printed, using a traditional baren. A baren is used to apply pressure (or burnish) the back of the paper that is placed upon an inked linoleum plate, transferring the design to the paper. They are now also made with a variety of materials such as plastic or wood. However, a traditional Japanese baren is made from many layers of paper and bamboo leaves, and making them is a time-consuming process taking over a year to dry.