Asia Art Center presents "Diffuse Boundary: China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program – 2022 Annual Exhibition"



Asia Art Center announces that the latest exhibition entitled “Diffuse Boundary: China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program – 2022 Annual Exhibition” will be held on September 24th, 2022, with Feng Shi and Duan Shaofeng as curators. This exhibition will display more than fifty waterprint woodcut artworks by ten artists Deng Haimiao, Ding Hui, Fu Xinghan, Hou Weiguo, Han Ning & MU Print Studio, Qu Zuochun, Tao Yaqing, Wang Haidi, Wang Yan, Wang Xiao.

Diffuse Boundary

China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program – 2022 Annual Exhibition

This year, the China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program initiated by Prof. Chen Qi has entered its second year. As early as 2021, the first plan focused on academy and heritage, and the curatorial team has imagined the future direction of this plan. In the ten-year time frame, should the discussion scope of the China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program be limited to the traditional medium and existing appearance of contemporary waterprint woodcut? What kind of ontological value has the emerging woodcut movement developed for the nearly 100-year-old Chinese modern waterprint woodcut? How effective is such a value in the historical dimension of waterprint woodcut and the future pattern of plural art? More significantly, should the academic existence of Chinese watermark woodcut has a more open cross-media and social publicity?

China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program – 2022 Annual Exhibition, must be based on wateprint woodcut art, with Chinese visual characteristics and unique youth spirit. The basic pursuit of the exhibition should not only make young artists with watermarking skills reflect on the infinite possibilities of their own artistic creations, but also make art practitioners with cross-border vision re-understand the reproduction path from traditional printing to digital screen, which lasts for thousands of years. Moreover, it enables the Chinese to engrave their physical memory of ink and wash cultural history. Undoubtedly, the 2022 China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program centered on public exhibitions and the ensuing discussions hope to answer many of the above questions. It connects the relationship between traditional skills and contemporary expression, water-based printing and cross-media art, historical memory and public cognition through the visual presentation of typical cases. All these attempts are based on the life consciousness that art practice or curatorial practice should have. It fundamentally needs to act on living people and obtain some kind of spiritual feedback, no matter whether they are audience, academia or practitioners.

When we talk about waterprint woodcut, what exactly do we want to express? This so far ambiguous question should be constantly raised from different perspectives, such as the ontology language of printing art, the material and technique system of watermarking, the spiritual inheritance of visual communication, the boundary with the media, the time and space relationship of the global cultural system, the way of life and the physical experience, autonomous people involved in every piece of contemporary history… There is no doubt that there will be no eventual and perfect answers to all these questions. Nevertheless, problems lead to thinking, and actions lead to traces of people.

As an art of marks that is unique to the East, we hope that this is just the beginning of the re-discussion of the contemporary nature of waterprint woodcut.

Curators: Feng Shi, Duan Shaofeng

2022 · May 4th, Youth Day

Elegant – Simple, plain, empty, spiritual

Waterprint woodcut, as the carrier of image transmission, has been closely related to Chinese classical painting and its aesthetic logic behind it since its birth. The narrative and empty inspiration in Wang Xiao’s artworks, the lyricism and relaxation in Deng Haimiao’s artworks, and the abstraction and simplicity in Tao Yaqing’s artworks seem all unique visual experiences from the classical East.

Wang Xiao, Narrative Poem of Water-Drift.jpg

Wang Xiao Narrative Poem of Water – Drift 2022 Waterprint Woodcut 43x40cm

In particular, Qu Zuochun, who uses mimeographic woodcuts as her creative carrier, transcends the figurative timeliness and abstract sense of life presented by the characteristics of materials in her artworks, and externalizes the faint spiritual orientation of landscapes of Song and Yuan Dynasties.

Qu Zuochun, Time Series No. 4, 2019, Mimeographic Woodcut, 11.5x105.6cm.jpg

Qu Zuochun Time Series No.4 2019 Mimeographic Woodcut 111.5×105.6cm

Missing – Water, ink, print, marks

As four printing methods of relief, etching, lithograph and screenprint as the imaging principle, letterpress which is mainly represented by woodcut has been closely related to the process of oriental civilization since ancient times. The immediacy of the collision between a knife and wood, the simplicity of the smearing of water and ink, and the logic of history of thought behind it contain the philosophical method of turning the pieces into the whole and the complexity into simplicity according to the oriental spirit.

Fu Xinghan, Nonlinear Forgetting.jpg

Fu Xinghan Nonlinear Forgetting 2022 Waterprint Woodcut 169.5x78cm

The reproduction and resurrection of traditional visual experience in Wang Haidi’s artworks, the comprehensive presentation of textures with different media materials in Fu Xinghan’s artworks, the individual approach of following the trend and the picture temperament of space and reality in Ding Hui’s works, all of which seem contemporary towards young people. A typical case of using imprint is regarded as a method in the creation of waterprint woodcut.

Ding Hui Away 2014 Waterprint Woodcut 120x90cm.jpg

Ding Hui Away 2014 Waterprint Woodcut 120x90cm

Boundless – Fine, progressive, brave, fierce

While visual arts enter in the era of mechanical reproduction, the survival and revivification of traditional printing is increasingly challenged. As a hand-printed art, while realizing the independence of ontology language and the modernization of creative methods, practitioners also face changes in physical experience brought about by global cultural changes, the accompanying changes in  bidirectional remodeling issues, regarding memory (expression) and cognitive (communication).

Wang Yan Eden 2022.jpg

Wang Yan Eden 2022 Waterprint Woodcut 120x158cm

From the original engraved board, whether copper plate, waterprint or digital engraving, Hou Weiguo chooses to use various media, but his creative logic always revolves around the core proposition of plurality and traces. Wang Yan’s creations never seem to be limited by the type of prints. Whether if it is silkscreen, waterprint or hand-painted illustration, his personal style always completely dissolves the characteristic of materials and techniques, leaving only a strong physical memory for audiences. Relying on the Mu Print Studio he deputized, Han Ning is committed to transforming the traditional way of life into a contemporary way with the study stationery as a carrier. While retaining the traditional form of stationery, Han Ning strives to integrate into contemporary life, trying to awaken Chinese people’s cultural memory through visual experience.

Han Ning & MU Print Studio.jpg

Han Ning & MU Print Studio Twelve Chinese Zodiac Signs – Tiger 2015 Waterprint Woodcut, Ink 36x26cm

About the exhibition
Dates: Sep. 24, 2022 ~ Oct. 9, 2022

Opening: Sep. 24, 2022 (Sat.) 3:00 pm    

Venue: Asia Art Center (Beijing)

Courtesy of Asia Art Center.