|展名||The Fourth Generation Image and Medium: China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program – 2021 Annual Exhibition|
|艺术家||Cheng Guoliang, Gu Yiming, Huang Yang, Lian Zhuoqi, Liang Yejian, Shi Lei, Wang Yan, You Yu, Yu Wufeng, Zhang Xiaofeng|
|展期||Jun. 26, 2021 ~ Jul. 18, 2021|
|开幕||Jun. 26, 2021 (Sat.) 4:00 pm|
Asia Art Center Beijing
The Fourth Generation Image and Medium: China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program – 2021 Annual Exhibition
After nearly 70 years of development and the joint efforts of several generations of printmakers, modern waterprint woodcut have become the iconic representative of Chinese prints. It is not only reflected in the uniqueness of waterprint woodcut tools and media, but also in the cultural genes and profound heritage hidden behind it. Therefore, waterprint woodcut plays a significant role, which shows the artistic image represented by Chinese prints and spreads Chinese cultural values in the international printmaking world.
Given the opportunities and challenges brought about by continuous technological progress, what kind of printmaking art can China contribute to in the current global printmaking context? What kind of visual cultural image can China provide? What kind of philosophical concepts can China express? This not only depends on the cultural self-confidence given to us by the long history of Chinese prints, but also must provide convincing works of art and theoretical research results in contemporary waterprint woodcut art creation and research. The tolerance and language possibilities of waterprint woodcut are unmatched by other types of prints. If we can understand waterprint woodcuts from a philosophical level, waterprint woodcuts can truly rise from a metaphysical specific engraving type to an expression of traditional Chinese culture, because Chinese thought itself is extremely tolerant and infinite.
The development of waterprint woodcut is inseparable from excellent creators and researchers. At present, there are still many printmaking departments of professional art colleges that do not offer printmaking courses. The main reason is the lack of teachers. Over the years, I have been committed to the promotion and dissemination of waterprint woodcut, and I regard it as the most crucial work besides my teaching and creation. I know this is a long and arduous job. Waterprint woodcut creation and talent training require a lot of time investment and the process is slow. It is difficult to achieve substantive results quickly and requires a long wait. Beginning in 2019, I plan to create a waterprint woodcut work with auspicious snow as the theme for charity sale at the end of each year. The proceeds will be used for the exhibition and publication of the China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program. I hope to encourage young artists to devote themselves to waterprint woodcut art creation with my moderation, to promote the development of Chinese waterprint woodcut.
The Fourth Generation of Image & Medium – China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program 2021 Annual Exhibition will focus on the domestic waterprint woodcut related college young teachers. They are not only academic members of waterprint woodcut, inheritors and innovators of academic printmaking, but also the backbone of the academic school of waterprint woodcut in the future. They are like relay hands passing down the fire. Especially when these young people take on the responsibility of teaching, what they are pointing to is the future. The development and promotion of waterprint woodcut art cannot be separated from the efforts of these young people, nor can it be separated from the heritage of the college tradition. That is the point we need to focus on.
In the end, I would like to thank Sir Alan Lee and Asia Art Center for their selfless support to the China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program, and also thank all people in various fields who have worked hard for this project!
With the first exhibition of the China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program entitled “Fourth Generation: Image & Medium”, it forms an echo that spans two years. The 2021 Annual Exhibition of the China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program is also based on the current waterprint woodcut art ecology. In fact, it points to the future and hope. The identities of the participating artists in this exhibition have dual attributes. They are not only active in contemporary watermarking woodcut art practice, but also educators in the process of inheriting waterprint woodcut teaching. This dual identity is brought together to form a whole distinctive academic characteristics, and they are bound to be in the pedigree of academic tradition and context. The “youth” in the China Waterprint Woodcut Youth Program is no longer simply describing and limiting youths based on age. At the same time, they pay attention to their transition and creativity from the perspective of artists’ creation, and their impact on the future development of academics from the nature of their work. As the first exhibition presented by the China Waterprint Youth Program, the 2021 annual exhibition focuses on the group of young teachers in the Art College.
The generational division of the cultural and art world is not new: the third generation of poets in the poetry world emerged in the 1980s, the fifth generation of directors in the film industry, and the new generation of artists and film directors in the field of painting emerged in the early 1990s. In the sixth generation, the division of generations is often applied to the field of cultural research, which is convenient for summarizing and combing the experience and experience of a generation, looking for the universality from its particularity, and then discovering the particularity of each case from the universality. Thus, it can constitute vividness and completeness of the research, which is the so-called universality, the result of the times and history, while the particularity is the unique thinking and creativity retained by everyone in the era and history, apart from the inescapable commonality. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the teaching of waterprint woodcut has been passed down for four generations, and today it has formed the fourth generation of people born in the 70s and 80s. The background is different from the previous generations. Today’s prosperous Chinese economy is changing with each passing day. The development of science and technology has provided a sufficient social scene for the development of today’s fourth-generation contemporary waterprint woodcut artists. At the same time, the revitalization of tradition and the integration of art and technology advocated by the national cultural policy have brought challenges and opportunities for the fourth generation. This exhibition proposes that the fourth generation is not only to present the fourth generation itself, but to place it in the clues of history and cultural development. We present the fourth generation and, more significantly, trace the development of contemporary waterprint woodcut education before the fourth generation. Inheriting the tradition and art history, we are looking forward to the possibility of waterprint woodcut education and creation in the future.
The era of the fourth generation is an era in which image and medium are ubiquitous. “Image & Medium” constitute a true portrayal of the digital life of artists of this generation. Focusing on the plural and imprints of prints, imprints point to the materiality and historical tradition of waterprint woodcut, and plurals point to data and medium in contemporary society. From the “fourth generation” to “Image & Medium”, it is actually the relationship between universality and particularity that is actually constructed. We finally hope that through the platform of the China Waterprint Youth Project, we will present the various topics regarding waterprint woodcut today. This exhibition has triggered more discussions starting from the “fourth generation”. The significance of the exhibition is not only to show, but to create opportunities for dialogue and debate. Only in this way can we clarify academic issues little by little, form a certain consensus, and establish a start from the academic community of Chinese waterprint woodcut art. In general, the fourth generation is born at the right time!
——Excerpt from “The Forth Generation: Born at the Right Time”, Duan Shaofeng