SENSU Playing Cards. The exciting encounter of Nature and Japanese culture
When art transcends the canvas and playing cards become a form of multidimensional expression, it is when we are faced with a creation that is the result of artistic talent and a special sensitivity. This is the case of Jack Brutus Penny, a writer and illustrator who delighted us just over a year ago with his acclaimed and award-winning Culturae Animalis and who now offers us a new and exciting creation: SENSU.
Sensu is actually a reflection of the culture, talent, emotion and principles of its creator. The name means fan in Japanese and is completely related to design. Each card is a unique and original illustration, full of details in which to recreate, but also with an abstract touch that generates a confusing but exciting visual sensation that is perfectly understood when the true spirit of the deck is revealed. The cards are not isolated elements but integral parts of more complex and exciting landscapes. Thus, full bleed designs are a real challenge and have been developed to reveal different scenes when fanning. This extreme originality has created asymmetrical numbered cards in such a way that, depending on their position, can form different scenes when combined with cards of the same suit or same number (from 2 to 10). Nothing has been left to chance, even the scenes shown are not capricious but rather give meaning to each of the suits or numbers, thus highlighting the deep delicacy and detail with which the artist has treated this work.
If in its first deck the humanized animals of the court cards formed triptychs, in Sensu the animals return with costumbrist representations inspired by Japanese woodcuts (ukiyo-e) and in symmetrical scenes when creating fans with them.
The aces, with the exception of the ace of spades, use completely white backgrounds causing an interesting contrast that balances the whole.
The jokers show symmetrical compositions reminiscent of the famous Japanese card game hanafuda, and whose roots based on the months of the year, the seasons and nature have served as inspiration for Sensu.
This inspiration in traditional Japanese cards, lacking indexes and whose identification is based on the memory and knowledge of the players, has also been definitive when creating the two editions of this deck.
The Fuyu-no-Sensu (winter fan) edition picks up the original idea and does not show any index on the court cards. Given the difficulty of identifying these cards from the designs, it includes an interesting element: a screen specially designed for the occasion with the court cards grouped by suit. This screen is an authentic work of Japanese craftsmanship made to scale to be included in the tuck case itself.
The Haru-no-Sensu (Spring fan) edition was designed for those who are not looking for such a radical departure from the more traditional poker card design by including central markings on the court cards for easy identification, but keeping the essence of this creation.
In addition to the differences in the court indices, each edition has a different color combination on the back and tuck. These colors, inspired by the color combinations of kimonos, show turquoise and red tones respectively.
The tuck cases show representations in both colors, although the edition without indexes is somewhat thicker to accommodate the screen inside. In addition, they will be covered by a die-cut sleeve with complex decorations and closed with a numbered seal.
These awesome decks will be printed by EPCC in a limited edition of 1000 units of each. The use of sustainable materials, recycled papers and vegetable inks has been an essential element for an artist committed to the planet and the environment and who, in addition, will allocate, as he did in his previous campaign, part of the profits to animal protection actions.
In addition to the decks, limited editions of collector’s cases are offered in which the details and finishes have been tremendously taken care of.
A special edition has also been created as a stretch goal. It is a variation of the Fuyu-no-Sensu deck that replaces the use of metallic inks with gold foil in a limited print run of only 50 decks. This edition will be accompanied by a golden screen.
Enter the project website and carefully enjoy all its details. This original campaign will captivate you.