On the morning of June 19th, 2012, the collection ceremony of Li Hongren’s chromatographic lithograph, Anti-Japanese Heroine Zhao Yiman together with the Awarding Ceremony of 2012 Graduate Excellent Works were held by the Printmaking Department at the lecture hall of the CAFA Library. Eighty-year-old Mr. Li Hongren accompanied by his daughter, Su Xinping, Dean of the Printmaking Department, Li Fan and Zhang Ye Acting Deputy Deans of the Printmaking Department and students and faculty of the department have participated in this event. In recent years, the Printmaking Department has made great improvements in its teaching direction, management practices, facilities and the general appearance. Developing slowly towards its scheduled program, the Printmaking Department has formulated a reasonable programme to better inherit and expand its fine tradition. Since 2011, they have organized postgraduates to sort out the contributions made by predecessors of the Printmaking Department, CAFA to art education, fine arts and the establishment of printmaking studio. Based on truth, they intend to objectively present their efforts to printmaking teaching not only for its future development, reasonable change but also for the noble spirit and dignity of the teaching staff.
Since its establishment in 1953, the Printmaking Department of CAFA has had a large group of artists dedicated to printmaking education, old, middle-aged and young, have gathered in the Printmaking Department. The lithography studio was founded in 1954 which is when Li Hongren was entrusted by Li Hua to assume the important responsibility of teaching there. Li Hongren has been regarded as one of the pioneers who are engaged in research, creation and teaching of lithography. Not only did he create a large number of lithographic masterpieces during the past decades, but also he has contributed a lot to the education of lithographs as well as the perfection of its teaching system. Li Hongren in a low profile is strict with his work, which has influenced generations of students who have become the pillars of the printmaking community. He has laid a solid foundation for the creation of lithographic studios in art academies throughout China and has made outstanding contributions to the development of printmaking in China. Anti-Japanese Heroine Zhao Yiman was created by Li Hongren especially for the Northeast Martyrs Memorial Hall in 1978. It took him a month and is regarded as one of his most representative pieces. It embodies Li’s control of the featured language in lithographs and his research on lithographic chromatic printing technology. It is the only original version which completely records the chromolithographic process. Totaling 11 pieces, it is a classic valuable collection which is also important for teaching studies.
Li Hongren was born in 1931 in Beijing. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1955 and taught elsewhere in China. He joined the teaching staff of the Lithography Section of the Central Academy, and is regarded as one of the founders of Chinese lithographic printmaking within the art academies. In 1983, Li spent two months at the Manchester Print Workshop in the University of Salford. Li is a painter of watercolors and a graphic artist, specializing in industrial scenes and portraits. Since the 1980s, Li’s work has been more experimental in nature.
Along with the collection ceremony for Li Hongren, the Awarding Ceremony of 2012 Graduate Excellent Works was organized by the Printmaking Department to commend eight young printmakers graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts this summer. They are Bao Shuang, He Shiwei, Cai Zhenying, Lian Fang, Liu Lingzi, Ji Yucheng, Ding Jing and Zhang Yafang. He Shiwei made a speech on behalf of all the awarded graduates and he expressed his gratitude for all the guidance from teachers of the Central Academy of Fine Arts during the past four years as well as for all the help from classmates, his family and friends. Su Xinping, Dean of Printmaking Department, CAFA confirmed the achievements made by graduation works of Printmaking Department in 2012 and place great hopes on them.