In December, I was invited by Sabine Delahaut and Ozan Bilginer to take part in a show called Print/ Pressure, located in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

IMG_7194_ankaracastle_wg_e

Photo by Sabine Delahaut

The premise of the show was that in Turkish language, the word for Print (Baski) is used to express concepts of coercion, oppression, discipline and restraint, as well as being the word for printing/ impression and pressure.

_MG_0732_ankara_mosque_e

Seeing as many cultures hide intimate depictions of the body, I thought it would be apt to show the Orchis book series.

_MG_0144_orchisbooknine_e

As I’ve written before in this blog, the word Orchis is the ancient Greek word for testicle, after which Orchid flowers were named, owing to the shape of their bulbs. In Old English too, the same parallel was made, and Orchid bulbs were called dogstones.

_MG_0153_orchisbooknine_e

The luxuriant feminine aspect of the Orchid flower, and the masculine shape of their roots makes the Orchid plant a metaphor for sexuality. The book format allows for a private viewing of what may be considered a socially taboo subject. The books are intended to be portable and discrete.

_MG_0159_orchisonebook_e

However, this time round, the gallery chose to display eight of the nine books on shelves above and below each other, emphasising their sculptural qualities. The ninth book, Orchis Nine, is in the catalogue.

_MG_0921_orchisbooksankara_e

In my statement for the catalogue, I compare the book to a body. Turning the pages stretches limbs and crushes and expands the timeline.

_MG_0882_orchisbooksankara_e

The landscapes that result flow and merge from bodies into plants and flowers, jungle and folded fabric, between figures that are solid and those that seem to shimmer and disappear.

_MG_0872_orchisbooksankara_e

I like to think that if the body is enclosed in the book, equating paper with skin, then skin smells of black ink.

IMG_1818

Other artists in the show were Atilla Atar, Beyza Boynudelik, Charlotte Massip, Engin Esen, Hasan Kiran, Heather Huston, Jean – Michel Uyttersprot, Ozan Bilginer, Sabine Delahaut and Oleg Denysenko.

_MG_0863

Atilla Atar

The gallery, Arte Sanat, made a really lovely publication with images from everyone, as well as a statement, the link is here

IMG_1802

Heather Huston

_MG_0877

Sabine Delahaut

The show runs until 20 Jan 2017 so there’s still time to view it.

IMG_1789

IMG_1788

I was particularly intrigued the work by Ozan Bilginer which used thermochromic ink and heaters inserted behind the installation of prints: as the heaters raised the temperature of the print surface the black ink became transparent and the screenprinted scene below was revealed. This was interesting to observe, as well as to watch viewers captivated by images that were permanently in flux.

IMG_1813

Ozan Bilginer 

After the opening, we all went out to eat a hearty meal and drink Raki.

IMG_7257

Photo by Sabine Delahaut

The showing of the Orchis Library in Turkey had an additional coincidence, in that the Orchid root is commonly made into a winter drink called Salep (also popular in 18C Britain as an aphrodisiac) tying in with the notion of the Orchid plant being related to the body and its sensual functions.

IMG_2081

On my last afternoon there, the hotel ordered Salep for me to try. It was a creamy sweet comforting hot drink, but it didn’t have its required effect…

I didn’t fall in love with anyone on the way home…

 

 

Advertisements

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