Canadian contemporary printmaking on exhibit in Beijing

Updated: 2015-07-09 05:55

By Wang Ru in Beijing(China Daily Canada)

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Canadian contemporary printmaking on exhibit in Beijing

Art enthusiasts at the Canadian printmaking exhibit at 798 Art District in Beijing.  

By The works of 30 Canadian printmaking artists are on display at the Shengzhi Art Center in Beijing’s 798 Art District. The exhibit, which began its run on June 28, ends July 12.

This exhibition, entitled Resonance, is one of many events this year to mark and celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and China.

It is also one of the cultural activities to underline Canada’s commitment to 2015-2016 as the Canada-China year of people-to-people and cultural exchange.

The event is being held in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada, Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House, and Shengzhi Art Center.

Curated by Wu Jiaqi of Canada, Resonance aims to create a meaningful exchange between Canadian printmakers and the Chinese art communities.

“We have full reason to believe that all these exhibits, coming afar from Canada and quietly displayed in the showroom, not only represent the free-spirited pursuit of Canadian artists, but also serve as cultural ambassadors,”said Wu.

Through the liaison of Mr. Guy Langevin, a Quebec printmaking artist and academic consultant for the exhibition, the 30 contemporary printmakers whose works will be shown come from across Canada and include some of the most important artists working in this field.

In addition to Langevin, whose work is part of the exhibit, the opening ceremony Sunday was attended by Guy Saint-Jacques, the Canadian ambassador to China, and Tracy Templeton, another Canadian printmaking artist who has works featured in the exhibit.

Guang Jun, a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, said during the event that in the early 1980s Canadian printmaking aroused curiosity in Chinese artists.

Printmaking did not start as a separate and distinct art form in China. It is generally believed in academic circles that the title-page illustration of The Diamond Sutra dates back to the Tang Dynasty (AD618-917) and deemed the world’s earliest known printed art on paper.

The origin of modern printmaking in China is known as the New Chinese Woodcut Movement. It was led in the 1930s by cultural icon Lu Xunin, who was deeply inspired by the German printmaker Kaethe Kollwitz.

Canadian artists have a long history of being active in the printmaking community, with several important artists having gained attention on the international scene.

In 1984, the famous Canadian realist painter, Alex Colville, held an exhibition in Beijing, displaying his works in various mediums, such as oil, acrylic paint and screen-print, which drew special attention from Chinese artists with its modern style and deep cultural meaning.

Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House is publishing a bilingual Mandarin and English publication, also entitled Resonance. The book presents the exhibiting artists' works and their biographical information as well as an introduction to Canadian printmaking.

More than just a catalogue, Resonance is designed to show the Chinese audience a display of a broad spectrum of contemporary printmaking in Canada.