Wednesday, June 20, 2012

China's Printmaking City of Guanlan

When one looks at a map of the world and sees China, you think, ‘Man, that’s one BIG place’. I was searching for an Asian inked up experience, and knowing its rich printmaking legacy, I sought something in China.  I stumbled across this terrific place, the Guanlan Original Printmaking Base. In the southeastern part of China, not far from Hong Kong, is the city of Guanlan.  It is very close to the famous Mission Hills Golf Course and the city of Shenzhen, (which is quite modern and has a population larger than New York City!)

The wonderful thing about this place is that it’s not just a building or two that is called an artist colony. The Center makes up a whole village! Guanlan is a 300 year old (ancient by western standards) Hakka fishing village, and in 2008, it was converted into a studio center for printmakers! How Excellent! 

To give it chops, the village is also the hometown of China’s famous printmaker,  ChenYan Qiao, (featured here) who  is widely considered the pioneer of the New Chinese Woodcut Movement, and is also a well-known art theorist/educator.

Guanlan Original Printmaking Base is a full-fledged art studio. It includes a printmaking studio for production, an exhibition space, a permanent collection for original fine art prints, a research area, training and marketing development.  The Guanlan Center  also produces an international print biennial competition, and winners of the competitions are often invited to come as Artists in Residence the following year. Residencies usually vary between three weeks and three months, and artists are provided food and housing during their residencies.
The studio has been open to Chinese and international visiting artists who want to come to work and concentrate on producing original prints.  They emphasize all printing methods: etching, serigraphy, lithography and relief. Artists are provided with studios, basic supplies, 24/7 access to the workshop and technical printing support. Artists are expected to produce editioned prints while they are in Guanlan. Edition sizes are normally around 30.
The studio work spaces are quite nice, and the supply of print paper is to die for!  
Since the printmaking center opened in May 2008, over 40 countries and more than 200 famous printmakers have come to work at the Center, (creating more than one thousand original prints!) Free for visitor sightseeing.
Add: Guanlan Original Printmaking Base (Dashuitian, Niuhu)Guanlan, Baoan District, Shenzhen        
Tel:  86-755-29782529

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