On Oct 18, 2020, the opening ceremony of the 3rd IAPA Printmaking Biennial and Academic Symposium and launching ceremony of the International Printmaking Institute were held at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA).
With the unstable global epidemic situation, the International Academic Printmaking Alliance broke through many difficulties, and successfully held the third International Academy of Printmaking Alliance Exhibition online. Meanwhile, IAPA hosted the academic symposium. More than 30 printmaking scholars and artists over the world will conduct academic seminars and communicate through a combination of online and on site methods.
The following is a presentation by Professor Joseph Scheer of Alfred University, USA:
Deputy Dean of the International Printmaking Institute; Co-Director and Founder, Institute for Electronic Arts, School of Art and Design, Alfred University, USA
Today I am sharing with you a series of works that were done after the epidemic lockdown. In March we had to leave our school studio and had to work from home. We left the institute so we couldn''t use a lot of equipment, and we had to continue working in our own home workshop. So I used woodcuts to create prints. During this period, we created more than 50 woodblock prints, but we did not have much time to print them, because we did not have the corresponding machines and I was able to do some bold experiments.
Many of the creations I make now are done on Xuan paper. I know that Xuan paper is also a traditional Chinese paper, and it is also the source of my creativity. I hope to understand and explore how Xuan paper can be better integrated with digital technology, which is a combination of tradition and modernity. The images you see now are a series of prints of cacti.
I had plenty of time during the epidemic to do some experimentation and new trials before painting, so I made new color combinations. Changing colors after every two editions, constantly experimenting with color changes and the changes in the final presentation after color changes. I also did some experimentation with materials, trying different woods that are more suitable with the laser engraver.
These are the five types of wood I have tested: there is pine; there is plywood; the most left is corroded pine with a lot of particles. The second is American white pine, with a knot in the middle, as if at the heart, and a softer graininess in addition to this knot. This is pine plywood in the middle. It looks very hard and has low graininess. The imaging effect is better. On the right is birch plywood from Russia. From the whole point of view, it is a suitable material for our artists. On the far right is cherry plywood. Its final image is wonderful, but it''s too expensive for students. We found that cherry planks are rich in details, such as those of cactus. This work is from the image of cactus in the Mexican desert, which is a coastal area, I have done a lot of research. Here are some softwood plants, so I still want to know the difference in the effect of using this wood. This kind of pine has many knots and flaws. The texture of the material and the image will blend and penetrate into each other. It''s an interesting thing for me. The wood material can enhance the whole sense of the picture, so I really enjoy the combination of the two. In the picture on the right, you can see that there are many defects. The reason why I want to turn it over is that the laser engraving machine damaged the wood during the experiment. It''s interesting to see that the combination of pine texture and image is perfect.
I have always been very interested in digital media and exploring how images can be combined with printmaking. We know that printmaking itself is portraying "time", and many artists and sculptors are also integrating it into the evolution of time.
We can see that the pine tree is used, and its size is about 40.6 × 180. Cut it into 42 boards, and the size is 40.6 × 70. We can see that the production process is shown here. As you can see, we also use different Xuan paper. In fact, we use different colors, almost 16 colors, and we use 12 layers of different paper to create this series of works.
After the creation, we use high-definition scanners to scan, so that you can see every small detail of woodcut prints. Its imaging resolution can reach 8K, and our final video can have 8K. We have 42 wooden blocks, 42 different colors and 12 different kinds of rice paper. Finally, there may be 2688 separate images in this work, which can be said to be frame by frame. Finally, we can make it into a video. Now you can see that the wood grain is very clear and beautiful. You can see that the images and tree nodes are displayed very clearly. It can be in the form of print. We have made a lot of attempts, and finally it has become a form of supporting video. We don''t have an 8K camera right now, because the cost is very high. But with a high-resolution scanner, we can produce a very good high-definition video.