Double Impression at Hong Kong Graphic Arts Fiestas

Paul Croft talks to Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home AffairsPaul Croft, Lecturer in Fine Art (Printmaking) at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, received a special invitation to the opening ceremony of the Second Hong Kong Graphic Arts Fiesta 2010: Convergence / Divergence  at Hong Kong City Hall. Officiated by Florence Hui, Under-Secretary for Home Affairs for the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, this event was the second of its kind to have been organized by Hong Kong Open Print Workshop and The Art Promotion Office, based at The Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.

In 2007 the First Hong Kong Graphic Arts Fiesta: Crossing Boundaries had featured the work of 100 artists from 12 print workshops. At this year’s two-month festival, celebrating the diversity of printmaking, the number of workshops invited to participate doubled to 24, showcasing over 300 prints by 195 artists. Prints from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, UK and the USA illustrated the diversity of contemporary printmaking practice, highlighting both thematic and cultural issues as well as more pragmatic matters such as media, technique and format.

Twenty prints by ten artists and students from The School of Art and Aberystwyth Printmakers’ Workshop were selected by Paul to go on show at this impressive event. Prints by MA students Sarah Byfield, Eirini Boutasi, Eleri Mills, and Gini Wade hung alongside works by Judy Carpenter, Ruth Jên Evans and Ian Phillips from Aberystwyth Printmakers, and others by School of Art staff members Andrew Baldwin, Judy Macklin and Paul Croft. The prints were executed in a variety of media - lithography, etching and aquatint, mezzotint, woodcut, linocut and monoprint - have since been acquired for the Archive of the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

Soft Ground Etching by Ben Partridge.
Ben Partridge, Impression 6, 2011, Soft Ground Etching, 300mm x 415mm
Included in Xin Yi Da! - International Exchange Exhibition for University Students 2011

Along with fellow invited artists Maria Lucia Cattani (Oficina de Gravura Carlos Oswald, Brazil), Raymond Henshaw (Co-curator of Watershed: A Tale of Hong Kong and Belfast) and Hong Kong artist Blues Wong Kai-Yu, Paul Croft contributed to the lavish exhibition catalogue and delivered a series of talks and master classes as part of the accompanying education program hosted by Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.

Keen to build on the success of earlier festivals, the organisers are now putting the finishing touches to Xin Yi Da! – An International Exchange Exhibition for University Students 2011. In June this year, twenty prints by ten students from the School of Art were sent to Hong Kong for two exhibitions at Guan Shanyue Art Museum in Shenzhen and at Shatin Town Hall in Kowloon. This year’s submission includes prints, installation and animation by SoA undergraduates and postgraduates Tom Voyce, Emily Hopkins, Julie Williams, Cara Duncan, Robert McMorrine, Elizabeth Nash, Sam Lazkani, Ben Partridge, Maxine Prescott and Gini Wade.

The success of these exciting and ambitious projects very much reflects the energy and dynamism that is currently driving the economic and cultural renaissance in this corner of South East Asia. Between Hong Kong and Guanlan, across the frontier in Shenzhen, support for printmaking appears to be positive and rising. Naturally the School of Art hopes to maintain links with both Hong Kong Open Print Workshop and The Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, and look forward to participating in forthcoming exchange exhibitions and residencies. It will be fascinating to see how subsequent projects will impact upon the development of printmaking in this region and worldwide.

Linocut by Tom Voyce.
Tom Voyce, Vertigo, 2011, Linocut, 100mm x 150mm
Included in Xin Yi Da! - International Exchange Exhibition for University Students 2011

Lithograph by Gini Wade.
Gini Wade, Stone Bone Boogie I, 2010, Lithograph, 480mm x 630mm
Included in Xin Yi Da! - International Exchange Exhibition for University Students 2011