What is "Mixed Medium Hand Modified Mono Print" and "Editions"?
Once I come up the idea for the piece, I will collect the images from books, magazines, etc, shoot images with a digital camera and scan them into the computer. I use PhotoShop paint program to create the base image collaging and manipulating the scanned images. I then print out the base image onto the watercolor paper with an ink jet printer. Once the image is printed, I apply metal leaf. Depends on the artwork, I also incorporate chemical reaction to create textures and colors on the metal leaf surface. And I finish the piece with painting and/or drawing colors and images or details with gouache, acrylics, watercolors, India ink, colored pencils, etc.
I can print the same base image repeatedly. However, the hand application of the metal leaf, chemical reaction, and painting will always be unique to the individual pieces. Even though the base image is the same, it is impossible to create the exact same surface appearance like conventional printmaking do. That is why my artwork is called "Mixed Medium Hand Modified Mono Print". In the mean time, I am able to create a different size of the same base image as editions due to the ability of the modern printing technology, computer print vs. Ukiyo-e woodblock print. Although I can create editions because of the hand applications on each printed base image, I cannot create mass editions like other conventional printing technique can.
Edition of the prints:
The pieces I created in 1998 have several editions. In 1998 I entered in various competitions and sometimes I have to exhibit the same piece at the same time but at different locations. Also a few pieces have been created in different sizes. I am trying to make the edition as closer as possible to the first/original piece . For example, when I make the edition of "Sightseeing at CA", I simply try to make the same image with the same finish. I will try to come up with the same color scheme as well as same texture of the metal leaf. Then I will call these edition as edition under the same title.
I have also created different variation of certain images such as "Cat and Woman", "Moon Landing", and "The Story of Veranda". I certainly considered them a different piece rather than an edition of the same piece. If I decided to change the texture of the metal leaf intentionally or introducing some other elements then I will call the piece with a different name as well. For example, "Story of Veranda" and "Story of Veranda -Nusumigiki". In this case, the basic image was almost the same but the size and some design of the use of metal leaf were different. On top of it, I added my face on the "Story of Veranda -Nusumigiki". Therefore, these two pieces are not the edition of each other.
The most recent series of prints, which the chemical reaction and detailing technique became more complex than earlier pieces, have been single edition. In the future, I might make a few editions but it will stay A FEW vs. several editions. Printing a basic image from the computer with the ink jet printer is simple but (very) costly. On top of it, hand modification of each piece is a great deal of work. I am not planning to make the edition of most recent series more than a few times unless needed for some special reasons such as an opportunity for the exhibition at a major art museums(!) and some fantastic occasions for presenting my artwork.
2001 Fujiko Isomura