Shows


Orchis Seven is in the Royal Academy Summer show this year!

Orchis seven 1000 pixel square_e

This print is one of my favourites in the series. It shows a hyacinth, drawn from many angles, in front of three sleeping figures. The fleshy flowers revolve in space and time across the page. The prints are linocuts made with a single horizontal line. The resulting mesh of black and white creates a shimmering effect that both defines and blurs the image. Objects appear and disappear from view.

IMG_5678

Installation view

The nine Orchis prints were originally conceived as a series of nine books. Encased within modest book-cloth covers, each book contains one print, folded to fill the accordion pages and framed by gold leaf titles. The nature of the folded image means that non-adjacent parts of the image can be seen together, giving the work a more sculptural and temporal volume.

IMG_2499

Orchis Seven is bound in a pale lilac colour book cloth. A full set of nine books is in the collection of the British Museum.

The flat print is an edition of 30 hand-printed linocuts, printed with Sakura oil-based ink on Lambeth cartridge.

Royal Academy Summer Show, Piccadilly, London, 13 June – 20 August

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/summer-exhibition-2017

Back in January I was asked to give a demo of Japanese Woodblock printing at the British museum for the Hokusai show, “Beyond the Great Wave” (which celebrates the artist in the last three decades of his life). Hokusai Prep 7It was a great excuse to spend a lot of time poring over Hokusai’s huge output. I began to admire his unerring brushstroke, and radical, often humorous compositions. Hokusai Prep 8

I’d promised to make a Hokusai-inspired work for the demo, but how I could even start to make a comparable rendition of modern day London? I thought briefly about depicting Whitechapel with cycle couriers: let’s face it, this is probably the closest equivalent to the Tokkaido, or a distant view of St Paul’s in the rain instead of Mount Fuji. Hmmm… I was stuck.

Hokusai Prep 11So I decided I’d look closer at the place where he is now being shown, the British Museum. This place is a veritable temple to the arts, with ionic columns lining the walkway up to the main central hall, and the most beautiful shimmering glass dome that brings a soft brightness to the courtyard inside.

Hokusai Prep 12We look at iconic images, like Monet’s Haystacks, Chagall’s Flying Lovers and Hokusai’s Wave, and the world is subsequently and irretrievably coloured by having seen them. These images are unforgettable, inspiring, desired and thus overused and parodied. At the same time, we like to place ourselves in the picture. Is it selfiegenic? Where do I exist in relation to this?

Hokusai Prep 6The prints I designed are about Hokusai becoming part of my identity: I can hide behind him, and he represents some of what I aspire to be (not caring about much apart from making paintings every day, with a factory of workers transforming them to prints, and hoping to live to 110…)

Hokusai Prep 3Hokusai Prep 4Hokusai Prep 5The demo on 5th June was a very exciting event. We set up in a hall full of of Greek marble sculptures, surrounded by sinuous sea lions and against a backdrop of three headless female dancers in revealing dresses.

Hokusai 01It was really echoey and a bit dark, so they put in some spotlights.

Hokusai 1I was incredibly lucky that my students from the last Japanese woodblock class (in East London Printmakers in May) were very keen to come help out for the evening, as there were loads of customers!

Hokusai 3I talked about the fundamentals of Japanese woodblock printing, showed how to print a three colour print, and then the public had a go at printing a mystery five colour print. Hokusai 2There was one colour and block per table and they had to take a piece of damp paper and print it, then move around the room. Students helped supervise and guide how much water, glue and ink to put on the blocks. Hokusai 4It was busy and chaotic but thrilling to see the results.

Hokusai Prep 9

Hokusai Prep 10

The British Museum show is highly recommended. It’s on til 13 Aug, with a change over of prints in early July (3–6). For more information please see

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/hokusai.aspx

I’m running a course in Japanese woodblock printing in East London Printmakers this Autumn, For more information please see https://www.eastlondonprintmakers.co.uk/course/japanese-woodblock-2/

Hokusai Prep 13Finally, if you’d like to buy one of the prints, please get in touch!

WG show invite june 2016My mum, a former nurse and midwife, is a constant source of amusement for the whole family, with her clear ideas on celebrity drugs (‘I just want a happy death’), keen interest in UKIP, and dirty humour when it comes to talking about the body. Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 13.40.52She has been a brilliant model to film over the past two years: a natural actress who loves having the camera listen to her radical views. Getting older and weaker has made her more inventive, more resilient and resourceful. Even though the journey to see my dad in the care home is a four hour return trip, and her vision and balance is ropey, she will still plug into her ipod, hop on the bus and enjoy the ride. Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 10.47.42She definitely has the balls. So, I made her a ring with a pair of balls which she gleefully refers to as Mao’s testicle ring (she misheard me when I said I’d made a ring with mouse testicles).  pendulous ring The above is a 3D file which was then printed on a 3D printer in wax. This was then attached to a ‘tree’ for casting in silver. Most of the rings I’ve been making over the past couple of years are hand-built and carved out of wax, so working with a 3D printed model is a new departure.IMG_1221IMG_1713 1As she has also survived breast cancer, I made her a breast ring too, which is meant to be worn with the nipple fitting snugly in the palm of the hand.IMG_2532_e_breast ringOnce I got into the idea of rings as trophies of desirable or missing body parts I couldn’t stop making them. Here is the bush ring. IMG_2503_bush ring_eThe film I made of my parents, Stoke Junkie, alongside more rings, books and prints will be displayed at the Royal College of Art Sculpture building, 15-25 Howie Street, Battersea, SW11 4AS from 26 June to 3 July. 12–8pm every day (apart from closed on 1 July). Drop me a line if you can make it! I’d love to show you around.

If you can’t make it, the film can be viewed at low res on vimeo here https://vimeo.com/170349107 (sorry the sound quality is not great)

And the trailer is here https://vimeo.com/168034112

Colour pencil drawings have helped me to make colour prints again. I was keen to make new prints for a show in Southwark that opened this week, so, telling myself there was nothing to lose, I threw myself wholeheartedly into the process, like a (very) rusty jazz musician.

IMG_0995IMG_1031

Layering colour is a bit like playing a visual version of jenga. At first you feel like you could put any colour, anywhere, but after a while the game gets dangerous, one layer too many and the whole thing comes crashing down… Some of these prints were just nasty, but it was interesting to see what the subconscious mind would produce so I kept on making… And some of the prints are completely unexpected and surprising and make me smile.IMG_1013

IMG_0993

IMG_1027

IMG_1032

IMG_1024IMG_1050

Mid hang chaosIMG_1067

It’s been an interesting journey making work with no idea of what the end outcome will be. My carving is generally about concept, narrative and structure, so bringing in colour makes the prints more about emotion. I’ve enjoyed the freedom of making monoprints, and throwing together all the colours in my box of inks. (Now thinking it could be good to get in some more blues and greens…)

For those who live in London, the show is up til the end of Sunday 6th Feb, at Café Gallery, Southwark Park, London, from 11-4.

These photos were made for a show called Poetry Scores Hawaii-Look Like What It Means that opens on February 15th in Hilo.The show is based around a collection of 25 poems by beat generation poet, Albert Saijo(1926-2011) who was a California-born Japanese-American writer. His style was distinctive, writing in capital letters, combining a fluid stream of haiku-like phrases with a playful honesty. I was invited by juror Phil Sanders to pick a poem to respond to.IMG_1640_e

The poem I chose was called PAB

PAB I INHABIT AN ANGEL BODY – THIS PRESENT I INHABITS A PRIOR I – HERE IS THE EARTH BODY AND HERE THE PRIMORDIAL ANGEL BODY (PAB) EXPRESSING ITSELF EARTHSTYLE THROUGH EARTH BODY – PAB IS EVER UPRIGHT EQUABLE SANE STILL EMPTY – THE ONLY NAVIGATOR – INVISIBLE – IDLE – IMMOBILE EVEN IN MOTION – THE CEPHALIZED COCOON THAT FITS WITHIN OUR SKIN EXACTLY – THIS UNMOVING CENTER BINDU DOT WALKING OVER 800 YEAR OLD LAVA – ROAD IS RAW LAVA WITH CLIMAX VEGETATION GRADED OFF – WALKING BODY BECOMES HOUSE OF ANGEL BODY – FOREST TAKES HUSHED HABIT IN LIGHT RAINIMG_1526_eThe show runs from 15 Feb to 15 Apr and there will be an opening reception on 10-11 Mar at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, 200 West Kawili Street, Hilo, HI  96720-4091. For more information please see http://poetryscores.blogspot.com/

I wish I could see the show: any sponsors out there please get in touch!

taiwan invite

My screenprint, Beyond the Moon, has been selected for the 16th International Biennial Print Exhibit in the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. The opening was today: wish I could have gone along! Show continues until 26 October so if any of you happen to be in the area, do drop by and let me know what it’s like!

beyond_moon_silkscreen_eIt’s perfect timing with respect to the recent super moon sightings in the UK in mid August….

I still have some of these prints left, so get in touch if you would like one.

 

I’m very happy to announce I’ve been awarded two prizes in the past month!

I was awarded First Prize for my books in the competition, Books of Desire, in the Classense Library, Ravenna, Italy.

This was for three books: EMBRACEDEVOURBAMBOO DREAM

Image

The jury commented as follows:

La giuria ha riconosciuto nelle opere di Wuon-Gean Ho, non solo una straordinaria perizia tecnica e una padronanza assoluta di mezzi espressivi estremamente ardui da maneggiare ma, soprattutto, la capacità di porre ogni tecnica grafica al servizio di un immaginario “universale”; insomma un vero genio della pratica grafica e delle sue implicazioni coniugate alla contemporaneità.

(Which google translate says means, ‘The jury recognized in the works of Wuon-Gean Ho, not only an extraordinary technical expertise and an absolute mastery of the expressive means extremely difficult to handle but, most importantly, the ability to ask any graphic technique at the service of an imaginary “universal”; in short, a true genius of the practice and its implications graphics conjugated to the contemporary.’) (!?!!!)

The show runs until the 7th June, so there’s still a few days left to see it, if you are in the area. For more information please see here.

Image

And I’ve just received the British Institution Award at the Royal Academy Summer Show which opened today, for my book, Unending Forest, that I made last year after a stay in Wales, combining the forest from West Wales with trees in East London.

The Royal Academy Summer Show is the world’s largest open entry exhibition and says,

‘We’ve been holding the show for nearly 250 years – that’s nine British monarchies, 43 US Presidents, two World Wars and more than 50 British Prime Ministers. Throughout that time, the Summer Exhibition has remained a powerful barometer of the art of each age. And the same simple premise has always applied – anyone can enter and all of the works are chosen by leading artists.’

Image

 

Image

Image

Due to a camera malfunction there are no pictures of me receiving the prize, but here are some pictures of the general knees up afterwards!

Image

 

Image

ImageImageImageImageImage

I’m completely over the moon to be selected for both of these…

If you are in London, the RA Summer Show is from 9 June – 17 August, more information online here

 

 

Next Page »