Canon Solutions America Inc., Production Print Systems

Canon Solutions America Partners with The Morikami Museum and Gardens to Promote Japanese Culture

Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., announced an exciting partnership that will help introduce generations of Americans to an enduring Japanese art form.

Wood Be Kindred Spirits, an exhibit of Japanese kokeshi dolls from the collection of Robert J. “Bob” Brokop, will be on display at The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, FL, from June 4 to September 15, 2013. The wood lathe-turned dolls originated in the 19th century near the hot spring areas in northern Japan. Prized for their simple shapes and whimsical child-like expressions, kokeshi dolls became popular among American tourists after World War II, when they came to be viewed as messengers of peace.

While the exhibit features one of the largest and never-before-seen collections of kokeshi in the United States, The Morikami lacked the funding to produce an exhibition catalog that would do justice to the treasured little figures. But then Canon stepped in.

Canon Solutions America had partnered with The Morikami on various past projects. Its involvement in this particular endeavor began with Brian Gallipeau, Senior Director, Service, Canon Solutions America, who also sits on The Morikami’s Board of Trustees. Gallipeau immediately recognized the kokeshi exhibit not only as an opportunity for CSA to give back to the community, but also as a natural tie-in to Canon’s corporate philosophy, kyosei, defined as “all people – regardless of race, religion, or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future.”

“At Canon, we have a proud, unwavering tradition to protect and preserve our most precious of resources – the world we share,” said Gallipeau. “The kokeshi dolls – with their message of peace and harmony and their own proud heritage – exemplify the spirit of kyosei as they build a bridge across the lands and from the past to the future.” 

In what turned out to be a true end-to-end imaging story – and truly in the spirit of kyosei – Canon provided photographic equipment, along with design and print support for the Wood Be Kindred Spirits exhibition catalog.

Super Sharp Solution

Photographer Matthew Vought used Canon equipment, carefully selecting the EOS 5D Mark III with an EF50 2.5 macro lens to capture the fine detail of the exquisite wooden dolls. “The EF 50 allowed me to get really close to the subject matter and produce super sharp images,” said Vought. “It’s a humble lens but it punches way above its weight class. It was a real treat to use.”

Vought photographed 50 different kokeshi from Bokop’s immense collection, meticulously posing, lighting and framing each individual doll to highlight the unique spirit and personality instilled within by the artisan who created it. In addition to the photos, the catalog contains a number of educational essays, including one by Alan Pate, the leading authority on Japanese dolls.

Digital Speed, Offset Quality

When it came time to print the catalog, the Canon imagePRESS C7010VP digital color printing system emerged as the machine of choice. Boasting vibrant color output with an offset look and feel, the imagePRESS C7010VP brought the dolls to life, producing images that appeared lifelike on the page.

Just as important as the quality of the output was the system’s speed of operation, a critical feature for The Morikami, which was already running behind due to the late start it got on the catalog’s production. Fortunately, the Canon imagePRESS C7010VP came to the rescue.

“For a project like this, where deadlines are exceptionally tight, the Canon imagePRESS C7010VP is the obvious choice,” said Francis A. McMahon, Vice President, Marketing, Production Print Solutions division of Canon Solutions America. “Not only does it produce a beautiful glossy finish to the images, its ability to maintain a consistent speed of up to 4,500 images per hour gives you the confidence to take on the toughest of deadlines.”

Much to the delight of Susanna Brooks, Curator of Japanese Art, The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, the Wood Be Kindred Spirits exhibition catalog was available in time for the exhibit’s opening on June 4th. For an organization that had resigned itself to not even having a catalog for this particular exhibit, the ability to accomplish the impossible and produce a top-notch catalog that would be ready for visitors to take home as a souvenir was quite a coup – and quite a testament to Canon’s professionalism.

“Because of the hard work of the Canon team, the catalog arrived in time for the opening, which was a wonderful and unexpected surprise,” said Brooks. “It just goes to show the professionalism of the people involved in this project.”

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