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Jed Henry's Ukiyo-e Heroes project
04/22/13 03:08 PM

I was following this interesting Kickstarter campaign started by artist Jed Henry a little while back. Who's Jed Henry? Same question I asked myself. He's a children's book artist/author. He also, apparently, loves video games. 

His work on this project is pretty damn cool if you are an admirer of video games or japanese art. At the beginning it was just images, but with his solid concept it seemed perfect. Then he teamed up with Dave Bull and gave the project that authenticity and novelty it needed to break away from all other fan art. Here's a few samples with my favorite first:
Art: Henry; Carving: Bull
Art: Henry; Carving: Bull
When you think about it, the subject of this project was begging to be depicted in the Ukiyo-e style. Hokusai, Hiroshige, Kuniyoshi, Sharaku, and all the other masters took inspiration from life around them, whether natural or man-made. It's safe to say that a large chunk of modern humanity has been exposed to video games. My evidence is the fact that my convent-living grandmother knows who Mario is. So why not adapt these characters to a medium that thrives on social observation? Brilliant, I say. 

If you're interested in the process for making these prints have a look here:
http://www.ukiyoeheroes.com/process/
For more info on Mr. Henry:
http://www.jedhenry.com/
Mr Bull's other projects can be see here:
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~xs3d-bull/overview/overview.html
If you crave a playable blend of Japanese artforms and video games, go play Okami.
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