First-class Printmaking Gala, Unique Cultural Brand Positioning of China

Issuing time:2007-05-20 09:42Author:Qi Fengge

Printmaking is one of the paintings that have the most distinct characteristic of universality. The languages of printmaking in each country have certain common features. It differs from national paintings, such as Chinese painting and Japanese painting. Such painting possesses distinct regional and national features, so it is difficult for people in other cultures to understand and accept them. By contrast, the universality of printmaking leads to the extensive production of printmaking worldwide. It is also one of the reasons why printmaking enjoys popularity. So far, Norway, Spain, Poland, France, Sapporo and Kanagawa in Japan have held international printmaking exhibitions. However, China, a "printmaking giant" in the world, lacks cultural brands like the international printmaking exhibitions. Although international printmaking exhibitions were held in Qingdao in 2000 and in Beijing in 2003, the exhibitions failed to be carried on. Therefore, ChinaGuanlan International Printmaking Biennial embodies special significance in the Chinese and even the world printmaking industry.

The first ChinaGuanlan International Printmaking Biennial is a top-level printmaking gala, which can be shown in the following three aspects: quality exhibited works, first-class organizers and authoritative evaluation committee. The sponsor, China Artists Association, is the top organization in the artistic circles in China. One of the organizers, Printmaking Art Committee of CAA, is the most authoritative academic institution in the artistic circles in China. The jury of the initial and final evaluation of this exhibition includes distinguished painters and theorists. Some of them are vice presidents of CAA, deans of fine arts academies and chairmen of printmaking departments. The foreign judges are organizers of modern printmaking associations in their countries and senior printmakers. Most of them were jury of international printmaking biennial before. Most importantly, 223 exhibited works selected from 1976 works from 57 countries show the latest trend of international printmaking development. Some of the printmakers have won awards in many international and national exhibitions. They, like Zhu Dequn, have already enjoyed high reputation in the world. These three characteristics of the exhibition have proved the high standard, quality and level of this printmaking biennial.

The first ChinaGuanlan International Printmaking Biennial is also an exhibition with its uniqueness. It does not only differ from the traditional Chinese printmaking exhibition patterns, it is also different from international printmaking theme exhibitions in other countries. It is featured by openness, comprehensiveness and pluralism. This year's exhibition is geared to international standards in an open and modern way. Although this exhibition is a governmental activity funded and organized by local government, it adopts curatorship system and is operated in a standardized way. Works from every country are welcomed. The openness and freedom shows the respect for the willingness of printmakers. Jury members of the final evaluation are also recruited openly. The foreign judges of this exhibition are experts from Japan, Korea and Britain. There is also an America judge who couldn't show up. The foreign and Chinese jury, through communication and mutual learning, can make the pattern of the exhibition as reasonable as possible, because the constitution of the jury often determines the constitution of selected and awarded works. Works from home and abroad are at random in the final evaluation and will be exhibited in the same hall. The members of the jury evaluated the works by themselves. As for the 15 awarded works, 10 of them are from foreign countries, while 5 are from China. The result clearly shows the fairness and justice of such an operation pattern. In order to show its comprehensiveness, this printmaking biennial has no fixed academic theme. It encourages free creation, full play and bold exploration of printmakers everywhere. In terms of assessment standards, the jury reaches consensus that we should assess works from each country with an open mind and international view. We cannot make judgment based on local and national aesthetic views. The comprehensiveness can be reflected by the pluralism in the evaluation result. Some of the multi-media assisted works are also selected. Every works enjoys equal opportunity. Any kind of spiritually healthy works, without political problem, is possible to be selected, including various language styles, materials, techniques, visual expressions, cultural preferences and spiritual significances. The works can be traditional, modern, abstract, concrete, emotionally expressive or rationally pursuant. But we have high standard requirements of creation, individuality and techniques for selected works. We must stick to these requirements so as to ensure the quality of the exhibition.

The pluralism of the printmaking biennial reflects the pluralized structure of world culture. It shows the positive trend of individuality, co-existence and independent development of national fine arts worldwide under the background of economic globalization. As a window for mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world, and as a platform for friendly communication and mutual learning among every country's printmaking industry, The first ChinaGuanlan International Printmaking Biennial will undoubtedly create a first-class, unique and influential cultural brand.

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