Postscript of 2017 Guanlan International Print Biennial

Issuing time:2017-07-20 16:21

Seasons come and seasons go, it’s been 10 years since the first Guanlan International Print Biennial was held. When the trees in Guanlan are amassing the power of life and sprouting in the sunshine, another 10 years start this way. The world is large, while the cycles of international printmaking artists are small, pure and lovely. We and the printmaking artists worldwide are connected through printmaking, we hear each other, communicate and share the printmaking creation, and also the spirits and values thereof that may be shared.

We were excited waiting for a flurry of works worldwide together with the new year’s blessings when the new year bell rang, however, the applications were suddenly frozen without any signs, we were faced with huge challenges in the most critical moment since we fully opened the online application platform. Fortunately, we soon found out that the additional values brought from the world’s attentions to the Biennial were targeted by hackers, who directed our domain to an overseas website and attached with various IPs when we maintained our website, as a result, the homepage of Biennial was marked as unsafe by Google and other large websites. At this time, the friends in the field of printmaking from various countries stood together with us, supporting and clarifying for us, we worked day and night in the same time and finally restored our Biennial’s website. In such invisible war of virtual world, we and the artists from all over the world were closer and more unified. Also, we were remained of keeping the internet safety more carefully. After such small episode, the application amounts surged and hit a new high.

The Biennial is held every two years, we and the artists have witnessed each other’s growth and achievements when we were accompanied by each other for the last 10 years. In these 10 years, we were scattered in different corners of the world, going through trials and hardships. Even from different countries and with different cultural backgrounds, we always may see the familiar names, faces and works, and through the visible symbols we can see the persistence and evolution of their concepts. We felt sad for the passing away of some artists, but also happily saw the growth of a string of youth artists. The artists from Syria were forced to go to Lebanon for sending their works. Armao, an artist from Iraq, returned to the turbulent Iraq to teach printmaking and was happy for successfully sending his students’ works and the final selection of the works. Their works demonstrated the spirits and expectations of printmaking, the war at their country can’t stop their love for arts. They expressed their spirits and ideas with arts in the dangerous but unmentioned corners. Printmaking, as an international art language, has run across various boundaries, proving that the human beings may mutually understand and live together peacefully. In such changing era, we and the printmakers worldwide pray for the world peace in the manner of printmaking.

The 6th Guanlan International Print Biennial 2017 has attracted much attention of the printmakers worldwide; many artists are very excellent and have high hopes for their works. Sadly, the failure of a large number of works to be selected would be inevitable under the fairest selection system. But it’s just the difficulty and keen competition that make the final selection and the honors more exciting. After two-round strict evaluations, 304 works stood out from 4054 works from 83 countries and regions and were listed as the selected works, among which, 13 works were selected as the honorary works of the Biennial. When we applaud for some artists, we also feel pity for those artists who failed to be selected, and what’s more, we sincerely appreciate for their active participation and supports.

In the past 10 years, the Biennial has been developed with the supports from all sides and become one of the important printmaking exhibitions in China and even in the world. In the 10 years, the leaders from China Artists Association have been directing the work of Biennial, and the curators curate the Biennial one after another, with their supports and efforts, the today of the Biennial is created, while leaving many touching stories. We wish we will continue to innovate, lead the tendency of the international print biennials and contribute more to the exchange and development of international biennials.

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