University of Michigan Museum of Art is going to present an exhibition entitled “Multiple Impressions: Contemporary Chinese Woodblock Prints” from July 16th through to October 23rd, 2011. By its endeavor of presenting works from 41 leading printmakers from contemporary China, this exhibition dedicates to showcase their extraordinary innovations in both technique and conception, which have transformed this long-established art form in recent years.
Curated by Dr. Xiaobing Tang, Helmut F. Stern Professor of Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan and organized by UMMA with the assistance and cooperation of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, the exhibition will feature 114 works by such artists as Xu Bing, Kang Ning, Song Yuanwen, Chen Qi, He Kun, and Fang Limin, as well as many other accomplished printmakers. Thus it can be taken as the largest examination of contemporary Chinese prints in the USA since the beginning of this new century, also it will provide an important framework for understanding both contemporary art from China and contemporary Chinese society.
Modern woodcut movement that thrived in China in the 1930s was one of the consequential expressions of the avant-garde. The woodcut movement drew upon international inspirations–from German Expressionism, Soviet wood engravings, and Japanese creative prints–and this movement had a critical place at the intersection of historical events, individual efforts, and competing discourses on art. As the theme of this exhibition, “Multiple Impressions” refers to not only the complex process of making a print-especially when the traditional moveable multi-block method is employed, but also the vibrant and diverse visions and vocabularies reflected in contemporary Chinese prints. In Tang’s lecture at the University of Sydney, he discussed the logic of experimentation at different stages during the development of modern Chinese printmaking. Various experiments in artistic form, conception, and production point to many competing social and cultural visions. Tang argued that experimentalism is at once a key value in modern Chinese art and a useful historicising concept. As commented by its curator, the exhibition underscores the printmakers’ search for a new visual language and subject matter-in self-conscious competition with oil and ink-and-brush painters on the one hand and mass-produced print culture on the other.
About the Curator:
Professor Xiaobing Tang is the Helmut F. Stern Professor of Modern Chinese Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. Professor Tang’s work focuses on twentieth-century Chinese literature and engages a wide range of genres, periods, and theories. In 2005 he was the recipient of a New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, which has enabled him to pursue training in art historical studies. The fellowship also supported his studying of printmaking at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. In 2005 he was the recipient of a New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, which enabled him to pursue training in printmaking and art historical studies.
Image Courtesy of University of Michigan Museum of Art
Further Exhibition Information
Time: Jul. 16, 2011 – Oct. 23, 2011
Tuesday through Saturday 10 am–5 pm, Sunday 12–5 pm
Address: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI
Phone: (734) 764-0395
For more info, visit University of Michigan Museum of Art
View the Chinese version of this article here