Hiroshi Hamaya: Nature, Portfolio of 10 Extra-Large Prints
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Hiroshi Hamaya: Nature
Portfolio of 10 Extra-Large Individual Gravure Prints
First Edition, First Printing, 1971
Scarce Complete Portfolio Containing All Components As Issued
This is a scarce complete extra large sized portfolio entitled “Hiroshi Hamaya: Nature” published by Chikuma Shobo, Tokyo in 1971 that is volume 1 of the Chikuma Photo Gallery series of portfolios of great Japanese photographers. A total of 8 portfolios were issued the others being Kishin Shinoyama, Yoshikazu Shirakawa, Yoichi Midorikawa Taikichi Irie, Yoshihiro Tatsuki, Ikko Narahara, and Eikoh Hosoe. Hiroshi Hamaya is best known for works such as Yukiguni (Snow Country, 1956) and Ura Nihon (Japan’s Back Coast, 1957), humanist portrayals of the rites and rituals of daily life in rural Japan focusing on the inextricable relationship between people and their natural environment. In 1987, he received the Hasselblad Award. In presenting the award they wrote, “Hiroshi Hamaya is one of the most eminent documentary photographers in Japan today. His preferred subjects are people and nature. His interest in nature is not, however, limited to the Japanese countryside but to unspoiled nature around the world. As part of recording nature, Hamaya has also documented human life in its many variations. Although he intended his photos to be scientific records, they also have an aesthetic rendering: Hamaya has made an art form of documentary photography.”
The portfolio is an incredible production that consists of 10 individual mechanically reproduced gravure prints (8 black-and-white and 2 color) measuring 23.5” x 16.5” that are contained in a black stiff paper portfolio with printed labels on the front and rear. The prints are housed inside the portfolio in an envelope that includes the prints as well as a title page, biography page, and a blank cardboard insert to protect the prints. The portfolio itself is housed in a protective vinyl envelope. Based on the size of the portfolio and the number of components, there are usually substantial condition issues with the portfolio. The prints are in fantastic condition and the images are fresh and crisp. One of the photographs has a small amount of foxing in the margins not affecting the image. The portfolio case has some minor rubs. The black title sheet in the portfolio has some minor soiling and the inside cardboard of the portfolio case has some print offset. The resealable vinyl protective covering has some sunburning, wrinkling, and tears. Overall, the portfolio is in excellent condition and is considered a superior example of this title that is quite scarce and rarely found complete.
Photographs of the front and back of the portfolio case, the envelope housing the prints and the title sheet, examples of the prints (please see the fifth photograph to see the margin foxing mentioned above), and close-ups of the front and rear portfolio labels appear below. Please note that although the photographs appear digitized as thumbnails, they are viewable in the photo viewer by running your mouse over the thumbnail. You can also click on the thumbnail to open a separate window where the pictures are viewable as a slideshow.
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