We’re excited to bring you a Japan Travel Poster Book project, currently in crowdfunding on Kickstarter. A work that we like to highlight when writing Japan info, here is the interview of its creator Jean: The Bon Studio.
Can you introduce yourself to the readers of Japan info?
My name is Jean, originally from Alsace and living in Japan for 11 years. A first trip to the archipelago in high school prompted me to study Japanese intensively, and after studying languages and having a master’s degree in my pocket, I naturally chose to settle in Tokyo. I had various experiences in Tokyo in the public and the private sector, but drawing has always been a passion. Anytime, anywhere, I draw. And a lot while traveling. Japanese has this characteristic of using ideograms, which to me somehow resemble drawings. Between oral language and writing, I am therefore overwhelmed.
Where did the idea for this book come from on your travel posters?
Over the years I began to specialize in creating posters, which initially served as personal memories of my travels. I wanted to keep a record of my encounters and experiences on paper to keep them in one and the same illustration that I would draw on the spot by hand and then color on the computer. I created about ten of them, then I made them available to the public in a gallery only to realize that people liked my work. Especially foreign travelers to the archipelago looking for original postcards and posters. I wanted to show the public that there is something other than the famous wave of Hokusai and wanted to create a form of homage to the places that I love. This is how my collection started and grew. The book seemed obvious, but I needed an original concept, an intercultural approach that reflected my personality.
Can you describe this work to us?
This book is a collection of my best creations which invites the reader to (re) discover Japan through a colorful and original graphic universe. It contains a multitude of personal memories which can actually become intertwined with your own memories; look at one of my posters and you will surely find details there that will remind you of your stay here. Contemplate them with attention and they will make you want to go to these places that I draw. Immerse yourself in my creations and discover even more aspects of Japanese culture.
In addition to the posters, I chose to associate each destination with a calligraphy of the type goshuin. These are calligraphed ideograms associated with a red stamp referring to a place. The goshuin are traditionally collected by pilgrims to attest to their visit to a temple and are still relevant today. This element adds an additional dimension to the graphic journey that I propose, with each destination validated by a goshuin. This idea came to me after making the famous Shikoku pilgrimage, during which pilgrims never miss the visit to the temple calligrapher. Many French people make this pilgrimage and will understand the goshuin.
What are your plans for the future?
This book aims to become the first opus of the collection Have a nice trip which will take readers to discover a multitude of destinations through my creations. The China volume is already being created, as well as the Trans Siberian and others. But I also think I still have a lot to draw on Japan, I have notebooks full of drawings just waiting to be published and it is filling up day by day.
For more info on the book and the campaign
To pre-order the book and receive exclusive silkscreen prints and posters, go before September 10, 2020