The Fourth IAPA Printmaking Biennale
From November 12th to December 2nd, 2022, “the Fourth IAPA Printmaking Biennale”, hosted by the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Yunnan Arts University, International Academic Printmaking Alliance, International Academy Printmaking Alliance and International Printmaking Institute of CAFA, and organized by Yunnan Arts University, will be held at the Kunming Museum in Yunnan Province, China. The academic host of this exhibition is Su Xinping; the curators include Wang Huaxiang and Guo Hao, and the executive curators are Zhou Jirong, Kong Liang and Kong Guoqiao. The opening ceremony will be held at 2:00 p.m. on November 12 at the Kunming Museum, with more than 300 artworks from more than 20 countries exhibiting.
In 2016, the International Academic Printmaking Alliance (IAPA) initiated by the Central Academy of Fine Arts was established in Beijing. It is a platform for the development of printmaking around the world and the exchange of ideas with great significance to promoting the understanding and integration of studies on printmaking worldwide. Since the establishment of the Alliance, we have been holding International Biennale. Until now, we have successfully held three IAPA exhibitions and academic symposiums. The exhibitions in the past six years have added unique vitality to the communication of printmaking in the world.
Due to the sudden eruption and variation of the coronavirus, the huge disasters caused to all countries in the world have profoundly affected our usual social and living order. The Alliance Committee is constantly making new plans to deal with such special situations. In 2022, our wish is that the Fourth IAPA Printmaking Biennale will return to normal, where artists from all over the world can experience the exhibition offline and communicate face-to-face. However, the reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting us in many ways, and the Alliance decided that international and Chinese artists should work together in different spaces to complete this international printmaking exchange together. We have overcome many difficulties to organize this biennale. Besides the artists from various countries and universities that participated in the previous biennales, we expanded the list of guests by inviting new artists to join us.
The theme of this year's exhibition is “Tomorrow’s Printmaking”, which explores the future of printmaking in the post-pandemic era. The current development of printmaking art has transcended the boundaries of a painting genre, expanding the artistic thinking and establishing a new system of art education. Other genres of art are influenced by it, especially as it combines with digital art, presenting a completely new look. The promotion and popularization of printmaking is also a heated topic of concern to the academic community. Finally, the profound development of traditional printmaking and its integration and expansion with contemporary culture are important issues for international academics and artists to consider.
This year’s academic symposium will be held both online and offline, discussing the mentioned topics. We invited domestic experts to Yunnan to participate in the opening ceremony and symposium offline. International experts to participate in the symposium online. The exhibition and symposium aim at providing a new communicating and displaying platform for Chinese and international artists in a special period of time. By gathering printmaking leaders and elites from all over the world, we plan the future development of printmaking.
In such a special year as 2022, the Fourth IAPA Printmaking Biennale hopes to establish a new exhibition mechanism and mode. The crisis has also brought us new opportunities, forcing us into a true Internet era. Expanding the breadth, diversity and depth of printmaking communication and ushering in a new era of printmaking art are the milestone significance of this form of exhibition and exchange for the future of international printmaking exchanges.
President of International Academic Printmaking Alliance (IAPA)
Before the " Tomorrow's Printmaking " Exhibition
Before talking about "Tomorrow's Printmaking", I would like to talk about today's printmaking and yesterday’s printmaking first. Briefly speaking, printmaking is different in every era, and the "difference" is the prerequisite for the existence of value; otherwise, it will be repetitive production, labor of no avail, and even a trampling of life and a waste of time.
Today's printmaking is different from the printmaking in the past. Let’s take the medium as an example. Digital printmaking did not exist before computers were introduced into China. In the West, it was also very late for computer technology to be used in printmaking. Recently, there were still many stereotypes around the world believing that it should not be considered as printmaking, until 2018, when I gathered the world's printmaking elites to discuss the nature of digital printmaking at the Second IAPA Invitational Exhibition and issued a joint statement signed by printmaking leaders from various countries, identifying and recognizing digital printmaking and monoprints as printmaking. Since then, they have been accepted in national art exhibitions, such as the National Exhibition of Fine Arts, etc. They are now also accepted in the collections of galleries and art museums. This is a milestone event in the history of printmaking, art exhibition and art collection.
Going back further, screen-printing techniques were initially used only for advertising posters and colored fabric printing, and it was not accepted by Chinese academies. Most of the printmaking artists deemed xylography as the authentic and decent one, and practitioners of lithography and intaglio prints were also very few. That's why Taiwan printmaking artist Liao Xiuping initiated and promoted the "Exhibition of Screen-printing, Lithography and Intaglio Prints" in Chinese mainland in the 1980s. If we look at the history of printmaking, xylography is the oldest form in the development of over a thousand years. We can see that printmaking, as an artistic form born together with the printing technology, is also changing with the changes and progress of printing technology, which will never come to an end. This change is a double-edged sword. The positive part is that it keeps increasing and advancing the means and space of expression for printmaking artists, bringing more diversified and rich printmaking works to the society; the negative part is that it keeps cutting and encroaching on the inherent space and stage of printmaking, even taking their survival conditions away. For example, the number of traditional xylography artists has decreased significantly even without followers, and the entire printmaking industry has become "intangible cultural heritage" with the development of printing and film industries.
In conclusion, we have to think about the question: what are the necessary reasons and conditions for the existence of printmaking? Printmaking major in art colleges still ranks among the main disciplines of traditional Chinese painting, oil painting, sculpture and mural painting. Every year, there are still a large number of students applying for the printmaking major, and printmaking in CAFA has also become the most popular major in recent years. Why? What does the future hold for printmaking? Or is there even a future for it? Where is its vitality? How can printmaking adapt to and meet the changing needs of society? Will it be able to improve people's life quality and carry their spiritual and emotional needs? If the answer is yes, then how should we work on it? The title of this exhibition, "Tomorrow's Printmaking", is intended to show the current situation and future trends of international contemporary printmaking and Chinese cutting-edge printmaking, and to discuss that faced with the changing international environment, the impact of the pandemic, technological development and fractured human values, how should printmaking artists think about and shoulder the responsibilities given by history. These are the eternal themes and the core of life of printmaking.
President of Yunnan Art Academy
The Fourth IAPA Printmaking Biennale
This is the fourth biennale since the creation of the International Academy Printmaking Alliance (IAPA) in 2016. Different from previous three biennales, this one is themed upon “Tomorrow’s Printmaking” in the post-pandemic era and sets an essential topic of integrating digital technologies with printmaking art. At the third biennale in 2020, printmaking art and the exhibition form under the pandemic are both taken into consideration during the preparation, arrangement and operation. Until now, while Covid-19 is still raging in the post-pandemic era, modern digital technologies continue to build and upgrade the multi-dimensional world that breaks spatial and temporal boundaries. With the cross-region online and offline interactions, expositions, conferences, researches and other art and academic exchanges are gradually increasing, their forms richer and more diverse. We are entering a virtual space built by digital technologies and overlapping the reality.
Under such a prospect, this IAPA Printmaking Biennale introduces “Tomorrow’s Printmaking” and provides a platform to discuss the future of printmaking in the post-pandemic era via exhibitions, symposiums and other means. Some analyze printmaking types to re-transcend the limit of its artistic forms. Others thoroughly integrate it with contemporary culture and set expectations for printmaking popularization. The combination of digital arts and printmaking not only means the expansion of visions on printmaking creation, but also the fusion of printmaking and tomorrow’s science and technology. This fusion will undoubtedly be a significant medium to popularize printmaking, since digital technologies can construe a graphic space for the public to immerse themselves visually and cognitively, and profoundly integrate the past and the future.
One can read the past, the present and the future from the displayed works and appreciate the fusion of printmaking, culture and digital technologies and arts. This is Professor Wang Huaxiang’s original aspiration when he called for the establishment of IAPA. It brings together printmaking talents from all over the world, expresses and studies cultures with the artistic language of expanded printmaking and digital technologies. Based on the past and the future, it also focuses on the present to exhibit and explore the limitless “Tomorrow’s Printmaking”.
Works to be exhibited
Wang Huaxiang, Parrot 38X30cm, Woodcut 2020
Joseph Scheer，Pachycereus weberi 120x86cm，Woodcut and Digital Print 2022
Guo hao, Mirror Image 100X70cm, Digital Print 2022
Zhou Jirong, Scenery-Gu lou 125X85cm, Comprehensive Print 2020
Kong Guoqiao, History Image-Dance in the Dark 100X70cm, Copper Plate 2020
Alicia CANDIANI，Rapunzel 84X60cm，laser etching 2020
Xu Baozhong, Scenery 100X55cm, Digital Print 2022
Paolo Laudisa，Yellow becomes gold (diver)，71X120cm，digital printing，2022
Yang Hongwei, Unescapable 80X50, Woodcut 2020
Kong Liang, Water and Wind in Autumn 90X59cm, Copper Plate 2022
Peter Bosteels，The Navelgazers，38x29cm，woodblock 2022
Song Guangzhi, Seekers-17 90X60cm, Woodcut 2020
Guo Jianwen, Wandering Identity 120X70cm, Silkscreen 2022
Cao Dan, Bathers 110X90cm, Silkscreen 2022
Sui Cheng, Overlap·Happiness or sadness 86X75cm, Silkscreen 2022