The year of the dragon has a special meaning for the Chinese. As an ancient eastern totem, the dragon symbolizes the passions fueled by vitality and the creative forces unleashed by sacred inspiration. In partnership with leading fashion brand Sing Kong Place, Beijing, 2012 New Year Fine Art Print Festival (2012 NYFAPF, the 5th edition of the festival) pays tribute to the year of the dragon by presenting new works by outstanding original printmaking artists. Printmaking workshop and art collection lecture are organized for public education.
The festival comprises three segments. In the first segment Emotion of Color, international printmakers seek out the mysterious and enchanting roots of life within nature.
Zheng Shuang (b.1936)’s artistic career spans half century after graduation from Central Academy of Fine Art in 1962, dedicated to exploration of visual aesthetics of modernism, her works unearths the potential of water-based ink printmaking to its limit, achieving great subtlety and richness of color.
Karen Kunc’s artworks teem with quivering abstract color spots and undulating waves, like an ode to life with piano accompaniment, where the mysterious forces of nature and feminine sensitivity sing in harmony. The colors thrive, the light blossoms, and the abstraction is filled with natural imagery and allusions. British artist Ralph Kiggell continues his creative exploration of the fusion between Eastern Zen and the Western spirit of the abstract. His studio was besieged by the recent Bangkok flood, but the artist, like a tranquil Zen practitioner, poetically perched himself on a tranquil island of time. In his art, the imagery of shells, plants and ancient jade are imbued with the marks of wisdom.
Ma Yong grabs onto serendipitous visual spectacles from within the labyrinth of computer code. His digital romps are like the sparkles from colored diamonds or the pupils of colored crystals, hinting at the passions and dreams that will be born of the year of the dragon.
The second segment Rejuvenation of Tradition is focused on ancient water-based ink woodblock printmaking.
Prominent Chinese artist Chen Qi will exhibit his new creation of his Water series, the earlier of this series was in V&A museum collection.
Wang Chao from China Academy of Fine Arts brings ancient objects together with everyday items from contemporary life. Toy soldiers and stealth fighter jets blunder into classical landscape, and a cartoon bird is startled into flight by a dragon that has leapt to life from the surface of ancient porcelain. Wang Chao’s recreation of the ancient painted scroll atmosphere creates a confusing clash between the ancient and modern worlds.
The third segment of 2012 NYFAPF, Innocence of Childhood presents new creation by China’s rising star artist Huang Kai.
In his works depicting demolished Hutong (Alleyways) urbanscape, the 1970’s political slogans extolling the virtues of population control have yet to fade as vivacious children fill the alleyways with an air of youthful exuberance. We are moved by his sincerity and persistence in a realist, panel comic language. His works is marked by both infatuation with historical memory, and with optimism and anticipation for today’s China.
Most of these artists’ creations are connected to woodcut art in some way, reflecting their undying infatuation with handcrafted original woodcut medium. The wood grain’s gentle beauty and the natural feel of the cuts through the wood have an enduring allure for the artists. They may never tire of the painstaking act of carving or the serendipity of the process. In this day and age of diverse creative methods, their art is a testament to the human forces still at work in contemporary aesthetic explorations.
About the exhibition
Organizer: ChinaPrintArt.cn, Amelie Gallery, Beijing
Venue: Sing Kong Place, 5th floor, Event Hall (No. 87, Jianguo Rd., Chaoyang Dist., Beijing)
Opening Reception: 02.18, 15:00
Artists: Zheng Shuang (b.1936), Karen Kunc(USA), Chen Qi, Yu Chenyou, Ling Junwu, Ralph Kiggell(UK), Wang Chao, Huang Kai, Ma Yong etc.
Curator: Tony Chang