This blog was created as a venue for printmakers in Malaysia to come together and share ideas, information and facilities.
We also would like to create awareness, spread the love for printmaking!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Spot Art 2013 - Chua Shu Ruei

In the recently concluded Singapore Biennale 2013, there was a parallel event called Spot Art 2013.

SPOT ART is a high quality, juried art festival for art students and artists under 30 in Asia that aims to strengthen relationships between artists, art institutions and arts professionals in Southeast Asia. Our event will take root as a dynamic and meaningful event for the art world, as well as for the general public, where young artists can mingle with an international audience of art professionals, art collectors, peers and tourists. SPOT ART is an opportunity not only for artists to be seen and heard, but also for the audience to reflect on their creativity as a sign of our times. It is a time to look and listen to what they are saying, reach out to them as they do to us and offer our support and encouragement as they work tirelessly to enrich and advance our cultural heritage. SPOT ART is a new and innovative addition to the burgeoning art infrastructure in Singapore. 

Congrats to Chua Shu Ruei from ASWARA,  the only Malaysian entry selected under a rigourous process by a 7-person selection committee.

Two of her 'Manusia' series artworks were selected for the exhibition : Orang Boxes 2 and Orang Boxes 3

Orang Boxes 2
Orang Boxes 3
They are print installations that combine extended and alternative printmaking with light boxes. She uses digital print and ready made/industrial prints.

Look familiar? Aren't those orange boxes we see so much during Chinese New Year? Just how does Shu Ruei conceptualise her work?

She credits it mainly to her Fine Art training at ASWARA where they were encouraged to incorporate local traditional heritage culture into contemporary art. "This is as a way to preserve and evolve the significance of traditional culture so that it can continue to be relevant within a contemporary context", Shu Ruei explains.

The Manusia series is her Diploma graduation project at ASWARA. In her final semester, she majored in Printmaking and minored in Sculpture.

We first met Shu Ruei when she accompanied ACG members and Art Malaysia's Editor-in-Chief, Liew Kean Yap on a short visit to her lecturer, Juhari Said's Akal Di-Ulu (studio / home / farm).

She is a soft-spoken and a dedicated artist. Imagine, in her research of our Malaysian Chinese Lion Dance, she followed a local lion dance company (Wan Seng Hang Dragon and Lion Arts) for over 2 and a half years. She frequently visited their workshop to observe their materials and techniques. She also followed and documented them during performances and practice sessions.

And then incorporated this research into the Manusia series which deals with the issues of dehumanisation, identity and self-categorisation. 

Flashback: POCHOIR - stenciling technique

Speaking of Haute Couture (high fashion), in the 1950s, top fashion houses like Balenciaga & Dior would print magazines for their clients showing their latest designs in full colour and with fabric swatches.

To ensure these colour are as close to the original, they used a stencilling method called Pochoir.

"....Pochoir, which means stencil in French, had its heyday in the 1910s and 1920s when it was widely adopted by the era’s cutting edge illustrators such as Paul Iribe, Georges Lepape, George Barbier and André Édouard Marty for their illustrations that appeared in ultra-exclusive fashion and lifestyle magazines such as Gazette du Bon Ton, Journal des Dames et des Modes andModes et Manières d’Aujourd’hui. The works that appear in these pages are among the supreme expressions of the pochoir technique, requiring up to 100 separate stencils, in perfect registration with each other, for the colouriste to execute the illustrators’ elaborate compositions.  Because of the cost associated with production, the use of pochoirlargely died out in the economic downturn of the early 1930s.

L’Officiel de la Couleur and Cahiers Bleu are two of the few fashion publications that continued to use the technique regardless of expense.  Perhaps this is because of the extraordinary range of colors and levels of transparency available with the use of impaste or chemical color mediums; “Impastes were thicker and more solid and number about fifty colors. ‘Chemicals’ were preferred because of their transparency and extraordinary range.  More than 1,400 were available.”  Compared to the limited-edition fashion publications and artist books of the Teens and Twenties, the use of pochoir in L’Officiel de la Couleur and Cahiers Bleuis relatively simple.  Each color appearing on the page indicates the use of a different stencil which was laid upon the page, which had been previously printed with the black lines of the illustration.  Brushes, gudgeons or pompons were used to apply the colors, one at a time, to the page.  Rarely are do more than three to five colors appear per page, translating to an equal number of stencils, or patrons, required.
The customer-base for this publication was clearly international as it was concurrently published in French, English, Spanish, and Portugese with the promise that readers would be advised “each quarter…on the colors which are to be in vogue in the upcoming season, via this “veritable work of art,” which was “highly sought after by book collectors.”

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Flyway Print Exchange - an update

In June 2013, we received an invitation (call for entries) to join a printmaking exchange initiative related to shorebirds conservation.

Here's a Facebook page for those interested to follow development of this event..

The Flyway Print Exchange is an art project that links 20 artists from 9 different countries along the East-Asian Australasian Flyway.
The Flyway Print Exchange is an exchange between artists living in different countries along the East-Asian Australasian Flyway, the flight path travelled by Australia’s migratory shorebirds twice annually between their breeding and non-breeding grounds.

Twenty artists, from nine of the twenty-two Flyway countries, will create prints inspired by the idea of the Flyway. One print from each edition will then be posted, unprotected, along the Flyway and back, echoing the birds’ journey, adding the impression of migration and distance to the works and referencing the weathering of the migrating birds’ plumage. The prints, weathered and pristine, will be exhibited together in Melbourne in 2014.
....The Artists
The twenty artists who are participating in the Flyway Print Exchange range from recent graduates and emerging artists, to academics and established artists of long standing. The artists and the countries they represent are:
Australia: Alexis Beckett; Kate Gorringe-Smith; Helen Kocis Edwards; Amanda O’Sullivan; Vida Pearson;
three indigenous artists (to be confirmed) from Waralungku Arts
New Zealand: Celia Walker
Indonesia: Syahrizal Pahlevi
Singapore: Tham Pui San
India: Radhika Gupta; Kavita Shah
South Korea: Hyun Tae Lee
Japan: Kyoko Imazu
China: Cui Xiao Hua; Ni Jianming; Feng Jiaming
USA (Alaska): Garry Kaulitz; Edwin Mighell

View websites of the event and some of the artists, to view their works ..

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