Canon Captures Japanese Edo Art In 4.2B Pixels With Lifelike Touches By Artisans
By Mikelle Leow, 14 Jan 2022
In hopes to preserve Japanese culture and carry it into the future, Canon produces ultra-high-res facsimiles of traditional artworks alongside the Kyoto Culture Association (NPO) in a heritage initiative called The Tsuzuri Project. The latest from this partnership scales up The Wind and Thunder Gods, an Edo-period (18th-century) folding screen by Tawaraya Sotatsu, to an incredible 4.2 gigapixels, with contribution from traditional artisans to replicate its sheen.
The work, Sotatsu’s proudest achievement, was first photographed by Canon for the project in 2011, but the latest edition of the facsimile captures its details in even greater precision using a Canon EOS R5.
Several images, taken in various angles, were joined to form the 4.2-gigapixel piece, which was then printed onto washi silk paper. For a stunningly authentic appearance, Japanese craftsmen applied gold leaf onto the art, as well as finished it with gold paint and isinglass.
The final step saw the screen carefully being mounted onto a sliding door by a master craftsman.
“The paired screens of The Wind and Thunder Gods recreate the tonal variations, brushstrokes, and texture of the original cultural assets as faithfully as possible,” noted Canon in a statement. “Canon’s state-of-the-art technologies, such as image capture technologies applied to create 4.2 billion pixels of super-high resolution data, image processing technology, and printing technology and traditional Japanese artisans’ skills were combined to create unprecedented high-resolution facsimiles.”
The Canon-printed screen has been donated to the Kenniji Temple so the public can study the work up close without further putting the 18th-century original at risk.
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