The 4th IAPA Biennale Symposium Speech Ⅴ Andrea Lelario


On November 13, 2022, the two-day academic seminar of “The Fourth IAPA Printmaking Biennale” was concluded in Kunming. The theme of this seminar is “Tomorrow's Printmaking”, exploring the future development of printmaking in the post-pandemic era. Yin Jinan, a well-known art theorist and professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts,and Guan Yuda, a professor of Yunnan University, co-hosted this seminar. There will be 17 domestic and international guests made keynote speeches, including Joseph Scheer, Alicia Candiai, Peter Bosteels, Zhang Lian, Song Guangzhi, Kong Guoqiao, Yang Feng, etc. This seminar employed a mix of online and offline methods. Some domestic experts will discuss and speak on the spot, providing a brand-new communication and exhibition platform for Chinese and international artists in a special period. They plan the future development of printmaking by gathering printmaking leaders and elites from around the world. This is a speech by Andrea Lelario, President of the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy



Andrea: Hello, everyone. I am Andrea Lelario. First of all, I would like to thank the distinguished President, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, International Academic Printmaking Alliance and Yunnan Arts University. Dear colleagues, friends and students, it’s my honor to be invited to speak here. I know it’s already late in China now, so I will try to finish my speech as soon as possible.

Image and the expression of image art are going through more important changes compared with other art forms. I have never seen such profound changes in the field of art. With images spread, obtained and created by digital equipment as well as the continuous flood of new technologies, image art has also witnessed a great transformation in context, which is reflected not only in the art market, but also in the education field, bringing far-reaching impact in various countries and institutions.


In my opinion, the earlier and later stage of the epidemic is an unprecedented driving force to integrate new technologies with traditional ones. The whole environment promoted me to have an in-depth research on this integration. Traditional printmaking has been enriched and innovated through digital printing techniques, different paper printing techniques and platemaking materials. A constructive intervention has been formed with fruit, and it should be observed and studied by all of us.

It is well-known that printmaking techniques went on for centuries passing down in workshops from master to apprentice, until it became an integral part of academic teaching in 19th century. The primary goal of all artists in different historical periods is to combine their experience with the technique or technology of the moment. This is as true now as it was in the past, so we should not cover up the superb traditional techniques completely or be smothered and suppressed by the new ones. Tradition and innovation should keep a dialogue open with each other; the innovation of works should be compared in a larger space and expressed in the current language system, giving art potential features and making it worthy of being preserved as part of historical memory.



I would like to remind you that please do not forget the main goal of teaching, namely the creative models of different languages which include both traditional and new technologies, expressing creations clearly and logically. While looking forward to the future, we also need to respect the past. I believe that compared to the past centuries, today technological innovations have made the imagination and development of works more poetic. But please allow me to say that our mind can never keep pace with the development of new technologies. No matter how hard we try to reflect on the past, our mind still cannot break the shackles of tradition.


Sometimes, my colleagues and I share this feeling that we need to cultivate young students and integrate traditional techniques that we know with the new ones on them. That’s the reason why I’m determined to deepen the discipline and became the promoter of the first international PhD on the cultural heritage of image arts in Italy. The doctoral program I promoted covers fields including image arts, namely materials and techniques, photographic restoration, art history, new technologies and new media. With the help of the most important Italian art institutions such as Rome Academy of Fine Arts, Florence Academy of Fine Arts and Naples Academy of Fine Arts, and the most renowned academic institution, University of Rome Tor Vergata, we actively collaborate with other prestigious international institutions, establishing a program with over 36 PhD scholarships sponsored by the Italian government. Our PhD program will start this year and last for three years, for a total of nine years. Our partners include Italian National Academy of Printmaking, Gallerie Degli Uffiziin in Florence as well as the largest international art collection and restoration center.


Finally, I would like to once again call for more universities to join us and let’s work together to advance our goal based on the principle of inheriting tradition, looking to the future and starting with the young generation. Thank you!