2020: “The Vestiges of Edo in Tsukuda”

I was asked by the UKIYO-E Project to produce an illustration that would be later used as a base for a series of Japanese, traditional “ukiyo-e” woodblock prints.

The original design:

Tools: For the design of this illustration, I used the Procreate app on iPad PRO.

I drew a landscape ukiyo-e depicting Tsukuda, a neighborhood next to Tsukishima station in the east of Tokyo. In it, I tried to capture the striking contrast between the modern architecture and historical elements that co-exist in harmony in Tsukuda today in the design.

The title Tsukuda ni Nokoru Edo no Omokage translates to “The Vestiges of Edo in Tsukuda” - the word omokage (vestige) refers to the river, an aspect of old Edo that has continued to exist to this day.

Details:

Design: URBANOWICZ Mateusz
Woodcarver: SEKIOKA Senrei III
Printer: ITO Tatsuya
Year: 2020, by UKIYO-E PROJECT
Edition: 100 per season and outline
Size: Chuban (185mm x 242mm)
Paper: Echizen Kizuki Housho

See the official WEBSITE for more information and to purchase the prints.

Contour only versions:

Using the same set of woodblock carvings and changing the colors, a set of four-season variations of the print was made:

Four seasons version:

01 Autumn
02 Spring
03 Winter
04 Summer

Making-of video:


2021: “Vestiges of Edo at Bell Tower”

collaboration with COEDO Brewery

I designed this ukiyo-e woodblock print for a collaboration with Ukiyo-e Project and COEDO Brewery based in Kawagoe city, Saitama Prefecture, known for their high-quality beer brewed with carefully selected ingredients and local water. This illustration is used for their “Vestiges of Edo at Bell Tower” limited edition beer.

The original design:

01 Noon
02 Evening

Tools: For the design of this illustration, I used the Procreate app on iPad PRO.

I first heard about Kawagoe a few months after I moved to Tokyo. I was told that there was a place where still a part of the atmosphere of Edo (old Tokyo) was surviving. Naturally intrigued, I soon went for a location hunt, trying to find if this was true and if I could use that location for my art.
I fell in love with the shopping streets lined with traditional wood and stone shopfronts and ended up returning there many times. I have used the photos I took in Kawagoe in many of my pictures as an excellent reference for Japanese architecture, but this ukiyo-e was maybe the first piece where I was truly able to focus on that unique, peaceful atmosphere I remembered from all my camera walks.
I like the bustle of the main street, but the back alleys, with fewer people, especially in the evening, charmed me the most.
I appreciate the effort of preserving Kawagoe’s architecture, and I would really like to see more places like this in Tokyo itself too.

The finished ukiyo-e prints:

01 Noon
02 Evening

Details:

Design: URBANOWICZ Mateusz
Woodcarver: SEKIOKA Senrei III
Printer: ITO Tatsuya
Year: 2021, by UKIYO-E PROJECT
Edition: Noon: limited edition of 100, Evening: limited edition of 20
Size: Chuban (185mm x 242mm)
Paper: Echizen Kizuki Housho

See the official WEBSITE for more information and to purchase the prints and beer.

The craft beer:

COEDO Brewery limited edition craft beed made together with the ukiyo-e illustration. This original beer is a fresh and dry beer perfect for the summer, and the label features both Noon and Evening editions of the print.

This collaboration between ukiyo-e and beer was born through their mutual respect for craftsmanship, and their desire to pass traditional culture onto future generations.

All the images and brands copyright by UKIYO-E PROJECT, COEDO Brewery, Mateusz Urbanowicz 2020, 2021