Toko no ma – 床の間

A project about engraving and its limits. (2004-2008)
Exhibited in San Sebastián, Madrid and Fuendetodos (Spain)
In collaboration with the I+D Department at National Engraving, Madrid (Spain)
What is a “Toko no ma”?

Literally “bed room, alcove”. An empty space generally practiced in the wall of the main room, perpendicular to the garden and plays a role in the decoration of the traditional Japanese house. That’s where usually there’s a picture chosen according to the station and placed a bronze art object or ceramic, or a floral motif. The taste of the owners of the house is judged by the harmony achieved between these three elements.

In The Praise of Shadows [download pdf] – Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

Pictures of the process

1. Taking photos with a handmade pinhole camera (The bigger, the better)


2. Digitizing the analogical pictures in collaboration with the photographer Mauricio Skrycky


3. Printing them in a Somerset paper (Satin velvet enhanced, 100% cotton & 330g/m2)

print_03 print_01
Raw analogical photographs

photo_02 photo_01 photo_12 photo_11 photo_10 photo_09 photo_08 photo_07 photo_06 photo_05 photo_04 photo_03
Final Edition

stone2 stone1 stone3 stone4
Acknowledgements to (not alphabetical order) Juan Azpeitia, Mikel Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Melero, Mauricio Skrycky, Alejandra Cascajero, Cibeles Bello, Manuel Escorihuela, Federico Sancho, Pati Jiménez, Juan Pablo Villalpando, Pili Nieto, Moisés Ruiz, Raúl Ruiz & Anabel Ruiz.

© Mikel R. Nieto (2004-2008)