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Around November 2014 I started to make this series of works about bodies

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dancing

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intertwined

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tumbling, blurring, merging

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colliding

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diagonal lines signifying cuts in time

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faces hidden in the forest.

My works are often stories told from the heart; I think the colour makes them more emotional. In the above prints I used colour blends and irregular shifts of the paper to make playful variations: each one is totally unique. They are screen prints 112 x 76 cm large, so each was the absolute limit of my arm span.

The studio is shut at the moment, so this is a strange time: thinking rather than making, reflecting rather than doing, planning over running. It’s probably good for me!!!

 

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New year new approach! I’ve decided to make some new screenprints on a large scale and challenge all my rules: that prints have to be identical, carefully made, and compact. These are full bleed prints to the edge of 112 x 76 cm paper (the screen is practically the absolute limit of my arm span), with bands of monoprinted colour and lots of overlaps and layerings. I had a lot of fun making them, and the series continues…dance_7671_e

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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

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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.

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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.’

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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!

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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

 

 

Beyond the Moon, my solo show in Aberystwyth, finished last month, but I was compelled to make one final print, of the moon itself. Originally I was inspired by Ariosto’s epic poem “Orlando Furioso” from 1516, where the moon is portrayed as a place where all things wasted on earth are kept and treasured: unnoticed emotions, unredeemable time and money, broken promises and unanswered prayers.

The moon thus symbolises hope and forgiveness, and allows potential realities to take form. I wanted to make a moon that shines with a soft light, and that gives off an atmosphere of ambiguity.

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I work in a cross disciplinary way, so the image started as a linocut, which I photographed and manipulated in photoshop. From these I made multiple separations which were printed digitally and made into screens. One of the advantages of screenprinting for me is the ease of layering translucent colour. I always make more colour separations than I need, and often spend a huge amount of time colour trial proofing all the combinations like a mad scientist, invariably til 2 or 3 in the morning.

I don’t have enough computer knowledge to be able to plan the print on the computer, but anyway even if I did know how, I don’t think it would be as fun as getting messy in the print room. As a result, most of my silkscreen prints take shape during the colour trial stage. This time round, there were proofs that resembled aging cheese, some semi-fluorescent greenish moons, and pinkish moons that really looked like the sun. Finally the classic colours of navy blue, black and a kind of shimmery pearlescent lilac won the day.

It’s a 3 colour silkscreen on somerset satin paper and measures 50 x 75.5 cm. I’m hoping to take it with me to Portland Oregon for the summer, as I have been invited to take part in a new collaborative residency with the Lan Su Chinese classical garden, with a show opening there in August!

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After all the huge prints for the Moon show, I made this forest print to summarise what the forest is like for me by moonlight. I have walked through the dark forest with only a quavery torch and my eyes straining to feel the pathway- a test of mental strength and minor foolishness. On those kind of nights, the moon can be almost blinding… It’s a two colour silkscreen with an irridescent blue beneath a navy on top, on my new favourite paper, Lambeth cartridge, and measures a very portable 30 x 30 cm!

One day, when they’ve made a teletransporter that doesn’t scramble you into a million pieces when you get reassembled, I’ll be able to invite everyone to visit my show, even if they live a million miles away… In the meantime, here’s some photos and a video. The weird cracking noise on the video is my knee- too much jumping around on concrete I think! I absolutely love the sound of the piano which transformed the space into a performance venue and changed the viewing of the work into a piece of drama.



 

Click on this picture below to view a video we made of the show, with the piano playing on its own.

And here’s a picture of me looking pleased!

I came to the realisation that the unending forest would be ever spookier if the trees mirrored each other. One minute you would think you’d know where you were going, the next you’d be passing by a world which you’d seen before, but in reverse…

Here are some shots of the printing process of these big prints. Because of the scale, I had to divide the image in four and screenprint them one  quarter at a time on the fabric bed, as the largest screen bed wasn’t large enough…

 

 

 

 

I’ve been printing these in East London Printmakers for my show in Wales that opens in 3 days time!!!


 

Went for a well deserved swim after all that work. I think I’m building up my shoulder muscles!