I’ve finally got round to photographing the Orchis prints (which make up the images in the Orchis books) on their own. Each print is 20 cm high and 91 cm long; on a webpage they tend to look like a smallish black squiggle. So I’ve added in close-ups in a section below each main image, which allows you to see more of the detailed carving and printing.

Orchis One

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Orchis Two

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Orchis Three

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Orchis Four

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Orchis Five

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Orchis Six

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Orchis Seven

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Orchis Eight

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Orchis Nine

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The prints are linocuts carved on three panels of Japanese vinyl, printed with black sakura ink on lambeth cartridge paper with a French American tool press, which has exerted enough pressure to stretch the print by 1-2 cm longer than the original blocks. Some prints (Orchis 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9) have been wiped and re-inked to achieve the different depth of greys. Some prints (not photographed here) have had a small bit of red colour pencil drawn on top to add highlights.

Orchis Four as a flat print has been accepted to the Society of Wood Engravers’ annual touring show, and will start off by being displayed in Bath.

79th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers, 44AD Art Gallery, 4 Abbey St, Bath BA1 1NN  44AD Gallery 11 Oct – 5 Nov. Private View: Saturday 15 October, 2.30 – 5.30pm.  http://www.woodengravers.co.uk/79th-at-44ad-gallery-bath/

When the prints are folded into a book format they become a very different object: the long panorama is collapsed into a set of shapes that bring separate parts of the image close to each other. For me, books are portable, secretive and tactile. The images are read individually, rather than remaining in constant comparison.

A complete set of Orchis books will be displayed in the University of the West of England in Bristol in February 2017. More details to come.

 

crow boy7-8_076The animation I was working on is finished! I put the sound track of carving wood onto the background. crow boy9-10_020

I changed the name of the animation to Shadow Boy as the work was started at Crow’s Shadow Press in eastern Oregon, and also because the boy is probably not native Crow.

crow boy10-11_002I learned a lot about how I work, as the animation involved hours of forensic reconstruction of my carving technique.

Here it is: vimeo.com/164877854

 

Shadow Boy animation will be shown in the brand new gallery space in the architectural-award winning Leicester Print workshop, alongside all the 10 linocut printed pages from the book, Swallow Span. The show is titled Light Line, and is a two person show with artist Angela Harding.

I chose the title Light Line as a description of what it is like to carve lino, as I was aware that Angela also works in this medium. Linocuts involve carving channels into lino to leave a light, or white line. We both work from dark to light, and use similar tools and materials. The phrase Light Line is a sort of pun on the phrase, Life Line, which for me is a comment on the act of creativity and expression, as well as in the more literal sense of the strong narrative elements of both of our work…

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Brush drawing for the dog who speaks Crow

I will be in Leicester giving a talk on my work on Thursday 14 July at 6.30 pm (doors open at 6pm, entry £5). All welcome!

50 St. George Street, Leicester, LE1 1QG. http://www.leicesterprintworkshop.com/

Light Line: Angela Harding and Wuon-Gean Ho

3 May – 31 July

(PS. Sometimes links don’t work, so here is the vimeo address on its own: vimeo.com/164877854 )

FOLD> is a portfolio of prints that I curated for the IMPACT 9 printmaking conference in Hangzhou, China, 22-26 September (starts tomorrow!) As I can’t make it, I’ve posted the portfolio to the organisers to display on my behalf. The conference questions the meaning and relevance of print in the digital age, so I thought the aspects of print that are not adequately conveyed in digital format are the tactile and the physical. The portfolio focusses on surface alterations and folds.

“Radiant Intervals,” Screen print, 40cm x 30cm (15.75 x 11.8”), Stephanie Beisel, 2015

Radiant Intervals by Stephanie Beisel, screenprint

The word fold also has multiple interesting connotations referring to creases in cloth, in paper, in time, to movements of wings, the body, the land, and a secondary meaning of groups of animals or people. The addition of a fold to a sheet of paper has the effect of creating a folio, and creates space and orientation. The portfolio consists of prints that each have at least one fold, with final dimensions of an A4 piece of paper (21 x 29 cm). There were no restrictions on medium, size of image, size of paper, shape of paper, substrate, style, whether text, collage, hand coloured, glow in the dark, embossed, perforated, nor printmaking technique used. There were some interesting approaches, and I’m pleased with the final outcome. Here are some pictures below.

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Untitled, by Mayra Gazinotti, screenprint

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Untitled, by Mayra Gazinotti, screenprint

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1:00:47 by Ronit Mirsky, screenprint

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After the Flood, by Susannah Stark, Sceenprint and digital collage

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Untitled, by Meiyi Wang, Linocut

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White Face, White impressions by Amy Cornfield, face print and screenprint

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Canyon and Cave, by Meg Rahaim, Digital Inkjet print

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Moss by Gloria Ceballos, Screenprint

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FOLD_IMG_5646_miles_e Roberto’s, by Rob Miles, linocut

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Roberto’s, by Rob Miles, linocut

Las Brujas by Eden Barrena Gonzales, Lithograph on two sheets for FOLD portfolio

Las Brujas by Edén Barrena Gonzales, Lithograph

A huge thank you to the participants, and apologies to the ones whose work I did not photograph. This portfolio may be run again in the future, so please get in touch if you are interested in FOLD2> for the next impact conference in Lisbon in 2017!

hold (2015) by Wuon-Gean Ho, for Fold Portfolio, at Impact 9, Hangzhou

Hold, by Wuon-Gean Ho, linocut

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PS. Life zooms by and the world continues to shrink. I made work in the USA this summer, and am in shows in London, Japan and China in the next couple of months, but of course I haven’t got round to posting anything at all! Just to say that I do have work in the National Original Print Exhibition in the Bankside Gallery, 48 Hopton Street (next to the Tate Modern) in London from now until 27th September. These are the prints that are there: two of my newish monoprint screenprints measuring 112 x 76 cm.

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The Royal Mint have been working on a promotional video for the lunar year of the sheep coin. Here I am talking about sheep and printing linocuts in East London Printmakers a couple of weeks ago… Was great to watch and learn from Adam Millbank of www.jonesmillbank.com who deftly ran around the studio filming on two cameras, switching lenses, juggling lights, timing answers to account for the noisy train line that passes overhead every minute, and dispensing giant chocolate buttons to keep the whole team happy throughout the day. I think you can see the effect of the chocolate at the end!

Link to video here

The Chinese section of the BBC got in touch after the new Sheep Coin from The Royal Mint was released on the 1st September, and invited me to visit. What a wonderful day out!

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I saw the stage where they present breakfast TV and the weather cubicles, and many people looking very serious, typing away at hubs of information. Apparently there used to be 43 different languages spoken in the BBC, now cut back to 30. Upstairs was the radio channels which were very funky and with a great view. Of course I had to pretend to be a rock star for a minute or two before we got to work…

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Jacky (Chuanzi Xing) interviewed me about the commission, asking me how my printmaking interest first started, and whether being a mix of Chinese British has influenced me in any way. She was very cool, calm and professional with perfect English, so it was easy to chat to her. You can read her interview here (it’s in Chinese but google translate gives you an idea of what we talked about). There is also a link to my description of the sheep personality here (sounding very serious even though I’m making it up!)

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The Royal Mint had couriered a gold-plated solid-silver coin over to the BBC for the interview, but of course, being a lump of metal arriving in the National Headquarters of information meant that it was a potential bomb threat, and had to undergo extensive tests before it made it inside!

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It was worth the wait, and the gold contrasted nicely with the reflection of the BBC’s red upholstery, which picked out the detail in the landscape well.

IMG_6166_eI’d brought along a coin from the Year of the Horse with me, so we put them side by side to compare. They looked pretty handsome in their cases, and I began to see the fun behind collecting.

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Looking forward to the next coin now: the Year of the Monkey. Should be lots of fun!

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Photo courtesy of Chuanzi Xing, BBC

To read the interviews please see

http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/simp/uk/2014/09/140906_iv_sheep_coin_designer.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ukchina/simp/uk_life/2014/09/140904_life_sheep_coin_wuongen_ho.shtml

And to see the CCTV (China Central TV) video and interview please see here

http://english.cntv.cn/2014/09/01/VIDE1409573879279610.shtml

http://english.cntv.cn/2014/09/01/VIDE1409573879279610.shtml#.VAZD60P2J1A.facebook

And finally the BBC Radio Oxford Malcolm Boyden show interviewed me on Tuesday 2/9/14 at 2:20- 2:25 (two hours and 20 mins into the programme) about sheep related things…

This image is a collaboration I did with Paul Weaver (photographer) and Margaret Ashman (printmaker), where I was asked to sign the words to a passage in the Bible. Not really remembering enough sign language since my tiny part in Children of a Lesser God about 20 years ago, and dismayed by my lack of ability to make the word eagle look like an eagle and not a chicken, I turned to Youtube videos of enthusiastic American teenagers signing and singing Amazing Grace.

You can see the print series in the London Print Studio Members’ Summer Exhibition 27 Jun – 2 Aug

Jumping for Margaret

Lifted I, by Margaret Ashman 2014, photoetching, 22 x 26 cm.

Here’s the press release:

Margaret Ashman’s series ‘Lifted’ concerns signing and gesture which resonate in us because of their origins as the roots of language. Many artists have created distinctive art practices based around the physical embodiment of language and text. Ashman’s art practice is heavily reliant on sign language. Giving her models texts to sign is a way of embedding language in the art work. Her small photo etchings, Lifted I, II and III, arose from a photo shoot in which the model signed the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ in BSL. The backgrounds of sky were either photographed by the artist or found images.

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