Fuochi d'artificio - Hirayama Fireworks illustrated catalog, by Jinta Hirayama / ISBN 9788898030408 / really nice little illustrated 96-page paperback, 4.75 x 7 inches , published by Lazy Dog Press / text is in Italian, but it is almost all images
The effect of the fireworks at the moment of the explosion seems impossible to reproduce on paper, due to its ephemeral and iridescent nature. Yet at the end of the nineteenth century, in Japan, Jinta Hirayama took on this challenge, publishing an extraordinary catalog.
If once the booklet had the function of showing the customers of Hirayama Fireworks Company the variety and originality of pyrotechnic productions, complete with instructions for use, today the illustrated catalog of fireworks shows itself to our eyes as a graphic artwork of great value. 86 magnetic illustrations, geometric and elegant, rigorous and surprising, which manage to evoke the brilliance and magnificence of the fires as they appear at night and constitute the restored reproduction of the original catalog, dated 1883.
In those years, the Hirayama's company distinguished itself for the production of fireworks, bringing significant technical innovations that culminated in a new expressive horizon: from the exclusive use of the orange hue it passed in fact to a riot of colors.
The unique illustrations, in addition to being a source of inspiration, intrigue the viewer with always different combinations, and bring back precisely to the Japanese etymology of the term: page after page it seems to see the 'fire flowers' (in Japanese, hanabi). An unusual and original book, with the unmistakable flavor of the past of an art that has never gone out of fashion.