Printmaking Residency in Guanlan, China
A Guest Post by Evan Summer
In May and June 2010 I was an Artist in Residence at the Guanlan Print Original Industry Base in Guanlan, China. After participating in the 2007 and 2009 Guanlan Biennial Print Exhibitions, they invited me to be an artist in residence. I’ve never traveled much but knew I’d regret it if I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity.
The residencies are usually between three weeks and three months. During that time artists are expected to produce prints in any of the four standard areas: etching, serigraphy, lithography and relief. They are provided with studios, basic supplies, 24/7 access to the workshop and the help of technicians.
Requirements are flexible but resident artists usually produce prints that are printed in editions of 30 by the technicians.
The artists are provided food and housing in the nearby 300 year old Hakka Village. The Chinese government has essentially created a printmaking village with the idea of making Guanlan a major center of printmaking. Frequently foreign and Chinese artists from outside the area visit the workshop. They are often given tours by Mr. Li Kang and Mr. Zhao Jiachun, the administrators who organize residencies and work with artists. There are studios, galleries, exhibition spaces and framers, as well as a coffee shop and post office in the village.
Guanlan is in southern China, not far from Hong Kong. It is very close to the famous Mission Hills Golf Course and city of Shenzhen, itself a major center with a population greater than that of New York.
This is one of their giant rolls of Rives BFK with their own watermark. A new roll weighs 433 kg and the paper is 120 x 120,000 cm! The print on the table is by Simon Zsolt.Shenzhen is very close to Guanlan – in fact it’s hard to tell when you’re leaving Guanlan and entering Shenzhen. 30 years ago it was a fishing village but now it has a larger population than New York.House of Lines, one of four etchings developed at the residency.
Manuel Lau was visiting from Montreal. His prints had holes burned in them and were stitched together.
Michael Goro was the only other printmaker from the United States there during my visit in May and June, 2010.
If you’d like to read/see more about the Guanlan Print Original Industry Base, here are links to two more sources. The first is a set of photos at China Radio International and the second is an article at urbanatomy.Bookmark / Share / Print