Chen Qi (b. 1963)
Lotus Series No. 6
74 x 87 cm
Chen Qi is a master of tonality, using water-soluble black ink in all its shades. He is renowned for his experimental, close-up explorations of single objects (no. 121), sometimes very large, as in the Lotus series. The lotus grows in mud, but emerges pristine, and so symbolizes purity in many traditions. It has also been suggested that the intricate rendering of the seedpod and stamens at the centre is Chen’s way of expressing the lotus as his sexual consciousness.
Muban Educational Trust registration number cheqv002
He Weimin (b. 1964)
Summer Night — Harbin
85 x 60 cm
He Weimin has worked in various media: painting in Chinese ink and oils, lithography and woodblock printing. He illustrates places, times and occasions, both in China and the UK, where he lives. His works exude energy and atmosphere. This bold, thickly outlined monochrome print is one of many showing scenes of daily life in Harbin, capital of his native Heilongjiang province. He Weimin is a Trustee of the Muban Educational Trust, contributing to the curation and authorship of many Muban projects.
Muban Educational Trust registration number hevwm001
Kang Ning (b. 1950)
Two Men and a Horse
61 x 68 cm
Since the 1950s, most print artists from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, where Kang studied and taught, have specialized in the monochrome style. Kang Ning believes it is the purest form of woodblock print. This work shows two large-scale figures, a horse and bird, set as a foreground tableau against vegetation and a floor divided into squares. Clearly influenced by Picasso, Kang is a great innovator in his own right in his varied use of line, texture and pattern.
Muban Educational Trust registration number kannv001
Fu Jihong (b. 1974)
Thoughts on Fruit
68 x 84 cm
Fu Jihong teaches at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, but unlike Kang Ning (no. 124), specializes in woodblock printing with colours. Looking at this print, one might make a couple of immediate associations. The first is Diego Rivera’s peasant folk, especially the hats. Secondly, the sexual connotation of the apple’s stamen is impossible to miss. Sexual references feature in the depiction of fruits by several other contemporary Chinese artists.
Muban Educational Trust registration number fuvjh003
Hao Ping (b. 1952)
Holy Plateau Series: Enlightenment
40 x 32 cm
Like many Yunnan-based artists, Hao Ping uses the ‘waste-block’ or ‘reduction’ technique, whereby the artist carves away portions of a printing block, printing at intervals, one color at a time. Colours are usually printed from lightest to darkest. In this Buddhist-themed work, Hao defied the rules by overprinting a light colour onto a much darker, blended base colour, and achieving a fine silk-like texture to the surface of the ink. Hao also creates vibrantly coloured studies of Yunnan minority cultures.
Muban Educational Trust registration number haopv033
Cao Ou (b. 1987)
Image 50 x 830 cm
Inscription 50 x 72 cm
This is the last in a series of landscapes inspired by the West Lake in Hangzhou. The flat, luminous forms are printed with water-soluble colours on rice paper. Cao Ou says he has always been attracted by the beauty of repetition and complex parallel patterns, choosing geometry as his linguistic symbol of expression. Other series by the artist, of landscapes, animals and fruits have a different language altogether-- intentionally witty and playful, but equally colourful and energizing.
Muban Educational Trust registration number caoov003
Xu Na (b. 1986)
Kind as Water—Bamboo Shadow
60 x 100 cm
Xu Na was Joint Second Prize Winner in the Muban Educational Trust Woodblock Printmaking Awards in 2016. Her blocks are exceptionally large for wood engravings. They are composite blocks, made up by gluing smaller blocks of end-grain maple wood together, allowing finely cut images to be made on a very large scale. Her usual subject is water, with variously formed islands and waves. Another motif is shadowed in the background —in this case, bamboo—adding further texture to the image.
Muban Educational Trust registration number xuvnv001
Zhang Qiuyuan (b. 1993)
Digit No. 2
90 x 60 cm
Zhang Qiuyuan is one of the youngest artists represented in the MET collection. She was awarded a Special Prize for Emerging Artist in the Muban Educational Trust Printmaking Awards in 2018. She uses the waste-block technique (no. 126), which leaves very little of the block after the different cuttings and re-printings during production and means that the artist can only make one edition of the print. In Digit No. 2, Zhang printed the grey areas first, and the black last.
Muban Educational Trust registration number zhaqy001
Li Wenpeng (b. 1991)
Once Upon a Time There Was a Mountain No.2
90 x 90 cm
Another of the MET’s youngest artists (no. 129), Li Wenpeng was Second Prize Winner in the Muban Educational Trust Printmaking Awards in 2018. He uses the vocabulary of the wood engraving in his woodblock prints, with finely cut imagery on a scale more akin to Baroque engravings on metal. Li’s prints are full of small motifs, very skilfully blended into the textured layers of the scene: one spots another temple or spiritual being every time one looks.
Muban Educational Trust registration number livwp001
Gu Xiuhua (b. 1988)
Return to Nature No. 3 — Mirror Image
45 x 108 cm
Gu Xiuhua employs the vocabulary of the wood engraving in the making of his woodblock prints. He makes clear references to books of engravings, often coloured, illustrating birds and insects which were popular in the growing interest in the natural world during the eighteenth-century. Gu’s images are extraordinarily skilful, highly detailed and symbolically complex. He was the First Prize Winner at the Muban Educational Trust’s Woodblock Printmaking Awards in 2016.
Muban Educational Trust registration number guvxh002
He Sanqing (b. 1988)
Neither Mountain Nor Water No. 1
61 x 97 cm
He Sanqing was a student of the unorthodox artist Chen Haiyan (no. 108). This work has the appearance of a collage of pre-painted or pre-printed papers. He skilfully exploits the tonal range possible with Chinese ink, calling to mind the traditional Chinese principle that, “If you have ink, you have all the five colours”. He Sanqing was the First Prize Winner in the Muban Educational Trust Woodblock Printmaking Awards in 2018.
Muban Educational Trust registration number hevsq001