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Direction Art Center in Hangzhou featured a solo exhibition with works of art by the young Chinese artist and printmaker Zhuang Yanjun. The show was open from January 4 until January 20, 2008. The exhibition has shown more than 20 artworks created by Mr. Zhuang Yanjun during his latest art period. Most of the shown artworks were reduction woodblock prints. The ornaments and portraits of Chinese minority people attracted many art collectors.
The artist demonstrated to the public all the steps necessary to create a print. The exhibition was another highligt in his career. Two famous Chinese printmakers attended the opening - Mr. Li Yitai and Mr. Zhang Minjie. Zhang Minjie, a legend at lifetime, wrote a preface for this exhibition.
Zhuang Yanjun was a student of Chinese master printmaker Zhang Minjie, one of the most expensive and best known printmakers in today's China and a legend at life time. His gifted student attended the 17th National Printmaking Exhibition, the highest exhibition level a printmaker can achieve in China apart from international exhibitions.
Zhuang Yanjun has concentrated on showing the world of Buddhism in his art images. He does not follow a fancy trend, but he himself is a practizing Buddhist.
Zhang Minjie wrote about his student:
"Four years ago, we knew, he was student and I was his teacher. After four years, the society would be his teacher. Climbing the mountains is very laborious. When we encounter steep mountains, should we stop or climb? If we go, we can posssibly have the advantage of great views and lofty feelings."
"We can say that Mr.Zhuang may be an art hero. Under what kind of conditions has he ascended during four years? Take a look at his "Belief" series: I saw what he felt and thought, and I saw the difficulties on his back. At the crossing point of your life you have to make a choice that defines your further way into the future. Hero choose the peak. I trust Zhuang's choice."
For more biographical information about the artist, please go to Zhuang Yanjun.
artelino' s art agent in China attended the exhibition opening and sent us photographs from the show.
The artist in front of one of his latest creations. Zhuang Yanjun creates mostly reduction woodblock prints. For the technique of the reduction woodblock print. the artist uses only one block. He prints the first color for the whole edition size after he finished the carving of one image. Then he must recarve the second image into the remainder of the same block, apply the second color and print over the impressions of the first step. At the end the original woodblock print has been destroyed by the creation process, and none except for the last impression steps can be repeated. Thus it is impossible to create further impressions above the originally planned edition size.
To the left you see the two reduction woodblock prints Wa Nationality - No. 2 and Wa Nationality - No. 3, both offered and sold in artelino's auction # 493.
Two reduction woodblock prints behind an installation by the artist. The print to the left is titled Situation No. 2 and was part of artelino's online art auction # 412.
View of the plush gallery entrance. Behind the entrance glass windows more art prints by Zhuang Yanjun. What you see may be acceptable for a temporary gallery exhibition, but it is not advisable for collectors as a permanent place for your valuable art prints. Please do not expose art prints to strong daylight. For further reading how to preserve art works on paper best, please see an article that we wrote a few years ago - Care of Art Prints.
On the wall is a demonstration of the different stages of making a reduction woodblock print. The object to the left is the original woodblock and to the right different stages of impressions.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
(February 2008, updated May 2009)
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Works by emerging Chinese artists in BUYDIRECT.