James Jean and Adachi Woodcut Prints Collaborate on Contemporary Ukiyoe

“Dolly Varden” (2018). An ukiyoe woodblock print created by artist James Jean and Adachi Woodcut Prints

For 90 years The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints has carried on the tradition of Japan’s woodcut print techniques. But the Tokyo-based studio is not beholden to the past. Rather, they’ve been actively collaborating with contemporary artists to create contemporary ukiyoe woodblock prints using the same 17th century techniques. Their latest is a collaboration with American-Taiwanese artist James Jean.

Jean draws the exquisite outline of his female character

the outline is then carved into wood

Jean, known for the work he’s done for Prada and – most recently – The Shape of Water, has created an image of his muse Dolly Varden. The team at Adachi then takes over, carving the image into wood and then individually hand printing onto washi paper created by Ichibei Iwano, a Japanese living national treasure. A limited 100 prints will go on sale on April 6th, 2018 at 1:00pm (Japan time).

each are printed individually by hand. golden lines are printed in the final step to complete the print.

This is the studio’s 2nd collaboration with Jean. They previously worked with him in 2015 to create a limited edition print for Tokyo Design Week.

The collaboration was timed to coincide with Jean’s solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery, the art space run by Takashi Murakami. That exhibition also opens on April 6th and runs through May 3rd.


  1. Just love the skills involved in this type of art. So much better than simply sploshing paint on a canvas.

  2. Pffft… Some hipster on Acid did this on a laptop 😉

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