Hosted by the Department of Printmaking of CAFA, organized by CAFA Art Museum, “Review What You Have Learned and Learn the New: Wu Jiang’s Woodcut” – a solo exhibition of Wu Jiang, a young teacher from CAFA, opened at the teaching exhibition hall. The leaders of the academy, artists, scholars, as well as teachers and students from the academy visited the show, and the honored guests included: Gao Hong, secretary of the CPC of the CAFA, Sun Hongpei, deputy secretary of the CPC of the CAFA, and Prof. Yuan Yunsheng, in addition, lots of teachers from CAFA were present, such as Su Xinping, Chen Wenji, Li Fan, Zhang Ye, Wang Huaxiang, Liu Liping, Li Xiaolin, Wang Yuping, Wang Chuan, Wang Chunchen, and Liu Libin, etc.
The exhibition featured more that one hundred items of the small-scale woodcuts of his creations from the last two years, including “Expedit” series, “18 Types of Lines” series, “Sumo” series, Figures of the Republic of China” series and so on. Bookshelves is the basic structural unit of the “Expedit” series, each small unit recorded and depicted the life of the artist, such as the images of an hairdryer and bathroom, etc., in addition to a series of supermarkets, the memory of the journey, a sunroof, and the afternoon, and etc., with the use of the contrasting languages of the black and white, and depicting the silent and solid scene, the artists’ tranquil psychological feelings were melted into the painting.
The “Sumo” series mainly uses the means of the incised, randomly assisted by the carved, depicting Japanese sumo wrestlers, installations of the game, and props, using an oriental language for printmaking, the lines of which are very vivid, especially as the characters are of unique personalities, vivid postures, and funny. “18 Types of Lines” series had a more direct scrutiny, application and development of the language, with the use of small-scale print, Wu Jiang engraved and printed the figures of “18 Types of Lines”, to seek a breakthrough in the fusion and change of the two types of painting and language, reflecting his interest and efforts in the ontology language of printmaking.
As Mr. Wu Changjiang said, “daily” and “little theme” is the entry point of the creation, Wu Jiang had processed, arranged and performed individual daily experiences, with the use of a form of “diary”; He selected the most rustic means of technology, his feelings were inscribed in the board, line by a line, respect shown for the material, to avoid abusing fancy tricks, engraving prints in the most original way, catching humans’ soul directly. His prints are gentle and stretch, as bright and clean as uncut jade.
A journalist from CAFA ART INFO interviewed Wu Jiang, the protagonist of the exhibition, as well as Wang Huaxiang and Kang Jianfei at the installation. Wu Jiang said: “The exhibition features a stage of my works. And it is divided into two parts: Firstly, featuring some of my favorite themes from long ago, such as “18 Types of Lines”, these creations are the reproductions that worship tradition. Secondly, life plays an important role in my creations, and I have emphasized “humane”, which I do naturally, and also undertaking the theme of the exhibition, ‘Review What You Have Learned and Learn the New’”.
Prof. Wang Huaxiang was largely impressed by the span of Wu Jiang, who shifted from realistic oil painting to printmaking. “As an artist that majored in oil painting, Wu Jiang is fascinated by printmaking, which actually proves that there is no boundary between the arts. In the perspective of style, I prefer the prints of Japanese Sumo, in the style of Greek vase painting, purely black and white, similar to a paper cut silhouette. It is a good theme and form, and of a historical sense. That was only capable of seeing the past, though not fashionable, but in a sense of freshness. In addition, I find that his subjects are just daily life scenes and truthful, and I really appreciate this state of mind.”
Kang Jianfei said: “The black-and-white language of Wu Jiang is not the language of print we usually think of. I feel that his works are the supplement of the language of print.” He said: “A print artist is generally sensitive to subjective things. In Wu Jiang’s works, I can see his respect for the objective, and his personal attitude of the knife and to process the black and white. I particularly feel that his exhibition, catalog, and himself are very clean. Not only a full composition, I believe, he has also reversed the form of expression, which had been transformed into an attitude of life. In short, he brings us a comfortable and mild feeling.
Memories and individual feelings of daily life were melted into the creative process of the works, which is also knowledge and thinking of self artistic experiences. A middle aged man, knows the truth of life, and reviews what he has learned and learns the new, Wu Jiang said, “What is old, what is new. This is old, and that is new. This is not old, and that is not new. This is entitled the old, while that is entitled the new.”
The exhibition is on view from March 22 to March 25, 2013.
Journalist: Gao Sisi, Translation: Chen Peihua/ CAFA ART INFO
Photography: Hu Zhiheng/ CAFA ART INFO