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"I hope there is some magic in my creations of villages." (Zheng Jianhui)
In August of 2009 we received three designs of a new series of reduction woodblock prints by Chinese printmaker Zheng Jianhui. The likeable young Chinese artist is fortunately (for us) one of those who comment their art works. Here is his statement about "Village's Voice".
"This is not only my art work but also a memory of my childhood. Sometimes, I depicted myself in one of the characters of my prints. I think this will cause more attention by other people. These prints shall take us back to our childhood."
"When we look back, all kinds of stories, long or short, happy or depressing, will show up in our heads like in a movie. I show these scenes and characters in a humorous way to express my mixed feelings in the present world. Maybe these feelings are not wonderful but they tell us different stories. I think every kind of art has its voice."
"I grew up in a village. Therefore I have a special relation with villages. From the series "Village in Past and Present" to this "Village's Voice" series and also from the print "One World One Village", I think my emotions towards villages are moving forward. When I was still a boy, I felt lonely in the village. But as a grown-up I feel satisfied with my life in villages. I hope there is some magic in my creations of villages."
Zheng Jianhui studied art at the prestigious Chinese National Academy of Fine Arts (CNAFA) under the famous painter and printmaker Zhang Minjie. He graduated in 2007 and now lives in Hangzhou, China as a freelancer and professional artist.
Since his graduation Zheng Jianhui released several great series of reduction woodblock prints - Village in Past and Present and "Happiness in my Village", and in 2008 the series of Modern Angels. The essentials of the artist's works is the reconciliation of the old and the new China in a fast developing world.
The reduction woodblock prints by Zheng Jianhui are an excellent purchase for collectors. They are technically well made and have small editions of usually less than 20 copies. The use of the reduction woodblock technique assures that later impressions beyond the original edition size are impossible.
On the stage of a village, the little players are waving their hands to thank for the hot applauses. A dog is dressed as a "Chinese Young Pioneer", with a red scarf around his neck. The player in the middle is in the typical dress of a "Red Guard" and the boy who plays the violin wears a long ancient Chinese overcoat.
The appearance of the dog shows that the villagers live in harmony with animals. The artwork cannot speak, but one has the impression of hearing the voice of the village's life, the violin music, the singing and the handclapping.
In this print, the acrobatics was moved to the roof of a Chinese traditional house. The poetic couplets on the house mean: "The wide sea allows the fish to leap and the vast sky the birds to fly". The puppy with the glasses is showing a deft hand in riding an unicycle. The boy dressed in Chinese traditional clothes brought two microphones with them and they are singing concordant a happy song.
This is the happiest scene for villagers, a wedding. The bride is waiting for her groom (maybe the boy standing on the chair) to lift the red veil. On the desk two birds are singing love songs and the peanuts on the dish are standing for the desire to have children. The Chinese characters have the meaning of "happiness" and "good luck".
Author: Dieter Wanczura
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Works by emerging Chinese artists in BUYDIRECT.