Shoji Ueda: Children Calendar

A limited-edition collotype portfolio of selected images from celebrated 20th-century Japanese photographer Ueda Shoji’s Children Calendar series.

About the Portfolio

This edition features the work of legendary modernist photographer Shoji Ueda (1913–2000). Six years after the photographer’s death, his granddaughter Kaoruko Nakada collaborated with the Benrido printers to create this series of wonderfully rich collotype prints. Twelve photographs were carefully selected from the celebrated Children Calendar series and printed using Ueda’s own detailed instructions. Careful consideration of the artist’s vision and meticulous craftmanship combined to produce this extraordinary portfolio.

Project Story

The Children Calendar collotype project came about several years after Shoji Ueda’s death. Throughout his life, Ueda explored various printing techniques. He was always interested in producing photographic prints that were like paintings: original works of art, rather than mass- produced copies.

In 2004, when the photographer’s granddaughter, Kaoruko Nakada, was introduced to the Benrido Atelier, she was struck by the richness, depth and handmade quality of collotype prints. She realized that the technique was perfectly suited for the smooth tonal gradations and extremely black shadows of Ueda’s Children Calendar series. This milestone series, originally produced in 1971, is celebrated for its high key tones punctuated by deep blacks, and masterful manipulation by dodging and burning.

In 2006, Nakada collaborated with Benrido to produce a collotype portfolio of selections from the Children Calendar series. Under Nakada’s direction, the Benrido artisans used detailed notes, drawings and paintings that Ueda left as printing instructions for his photographs. As the project’s director, Nakada developed a profound appreciation of the printers’ role in the creative process. Guided by the artist’s own instructions, the printers used multiple layers of ink to achieve remarkably deep shadow tones, adding a new dimension to Ueda’s stunning images. The final product of this collaboration is a series of collotypes with a distinctive quality that differs from the 1971 prints, while reflecting the photographer’s original vision.

Portfolio Details

This edition of 30 portfolios features the work of revered Japanese photographer Shoji Ueda (1913-2000) The photographs were carefully selected from Ueda’s celebrated Children Calendar series.

Each portfolio consists of twelve 14” x 17” collotype prints on elegant traditional Echizen Torinoko paper, contained in a handmade clothbound case. The edition is limited to 30.

Visit Collotype Store