The “United Nations”of Printmaking “redefined” prints: The Second IAPA Invitational Exhibition and Academic Seminar


The “United Nations”of Printmaking “redefined” prints: The Second IAPA Invitational Exhibition and Academic Seminar
by SUE WANG on Oct 12, 2018 • 4:32 pmNo Comments

    On 23 September 2018, “The Second IAPA Invitational Exhibition” was unveiled at Taoxichuan Museum of Art in Jingdezhen. This exhibition is co-organized by the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Tourism Group, the Printmaking Art Committee of Chinese Artists Association, International Academic Printmaking Alliance(abbr. IAPA). The International Academic Printmaking Alliance selected 223 artworks featuring 120 artists from 26 countries including Australia, Ireland, Argentina, Bulgaria, Poland, Belgium, Russia, South Korea, Canada, USA, South Africa, Nicaragua, Japan, Serbia, Spain, India, Israel, Italy, France, UK, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Sweden and China. Compared with the first IAPA exhibition, this exhibition starts from presenting a “panorama,” then further focuses on discussions and a 18ation of the printmaking concepts as well as offering a comprehensive view of various cultural backgrounds. The exhibition intends to present the changes that occur in international printmaking research and creation, promoting an exchange of diversified experience in the traditional adherence and emergence of a contemporary spirit and further arousing explorations in printmaking phenomena and academic ideas.
    “The International Academic Printmaking Alliance” initiated by the Central Academy of Fine Arts was formally established in Beijing in 2016. With the success of “The First Invitational Exhibition of International Academic Printmaking Alliance” in the Imperial Ancestral Temple, over 700 prints from 28 countries were brought together to be displayed at the Royal Temple of Ming Dynasty which was unprecedented in content and form. “The International Academic Printmaking Alliance” is a professional platform for international printmaking artists to share knowledge, practice and an opportunity to interact, communicate and discuss academic research. IAPA main responsibilities include: 1. Introduction to the philosophies and historical experiences of printmaking in various countries. 2. Provision of solutions to the problems in accepting printmaking has encountered in various countries. 3. Research and exploration of the irreplaceable nature of printmaking in the context of global contemporary culture. 4. Provision of academic positioning for the concept, form and circulation of printmaking while developing a corresponding basic framework. This exhibition was chosen to be presented in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, China as it is not just a simple geographical migration, it was decided as it is a macroscopic consideration of the cultural identity of printmaking. Jingdezhen is an ancient ceramic capital of the world, which is also an internationally acclaimed center of contemporary ceramic research and development. Like ceramic art, printmaking is confronted with similar issues as to how it inherits from traditions and transforms them in the contemporary context, that is, how to 18 its cultural identity while straightening its relationship with the epochal spirit.
     History provides an opportunity for every printmaker here. Our decision made by the elite of the printmaking world today will influence the world, print creation, print exhibitions, printmaking education, and prints’ history. That’s because IAPA is like a collection of different print nations, like the United Nations in the printmaking world. Should we defend the traditional woodcut, intaglio, lithography, and silkscreen prints to refuse mono prints and digital prints, or keep our confusing and controversial present situation? Should we alleviate burdens on ourselves, provide more choices for the mediums of expression, enlarge spaces for creation and thinking and add varieties to the collection species? Relax the constraints generated by habits, prejudice, and benefits, I advocate to embrace the future. The “future” contains the inheritance and protection of traditional techniques and aesthetics which includes subsequent experiments and further exploration.

Wang Huaxiang
September 27, 2018
The two-day IAPA conference concluded on September 25, 2018. The conference is composed of two parts – keynote speeches and discussions. 16 guests gave their lectures, including Michael Kempson, Alicia Candiai Argentina, Peter Bosteels, Dimitrije Pecic, and Joseph Scheer. They talked about the development of printmaking in different countries, including Australia, Argentina, France, Belgium, USA, Serbia, and from different aspects, containing print creations, print exhibitions, print workshops, and printmaking education. The conference was hosted by Yin Shuangxi, a critic and Editorial Director of the CAFA Journal.