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Portfolio Introduction

The purpose of the Portfolio and artists involved

This Portfolio of sixty contemporary Chinese woodblock prints is a project initiated and funded by the Muban Foundation between 1997 and 2003. The purpose of the project is to actively support, encourage and promote woodblock printmaking in China, and to preserve a moment in time of contemporary Chinese Art. It is a landmark event in the history of Chinese printmaking. It also presents a valuable and unique collection of prints to international institutions and collectors.

Woodblock printing is one of the oldest art forms and it has a history of more than 1500 years in China. The Portfolio represents not only a sampling of contemporary Chinese woodcuts prints, but also places them in their historical perspective.Sixty outstanding artists were chosen from across China to contribute to this project, from artists in their 20s to a few in their 80s. Some artists came out of retirement to take part in this project, for example Yan Han, Niu Wen and Li Shaoyan. Many of the artists are internationally renowned, such as Xu Bing and Chen Qi. Some are rising stars in the Chinese printmaking world, such as Wang Chao.

作为印刷手段的木刻版画源于隋,成于唐,盛于明,文艺复兴早期传入西欧,并逐渐形成独立艺术创作形式。创作版画经由李叔同、鲁迅等于上世纪二十年代末介绍到中国并在数十年中得到长足发展。1997年,瑞典中国古籍收藏家冯德保 (Christer von der Burg)与瑞士人博林德 (Verena Bolinder-Müller)在伦敦创立木版基金会(今名木版教育信托)并筹备邀请中国艺术家创作木版画作品。由时任大英博物馆亚洲部负责人的龙安妮博士(Anne Farrer) 与奥斯特大学版画系巴大玮教授 (David Barker)倡议,中国艺术家徐冰(现中央美术学院副院长)提名,欧洲木版基金会于 1997 – 2003n年在中国邀请50位(后增加到60位)著名版画家每人创作一幅木刻作品。原作集参与者包括老艺术家赵延年、彦涵、晁楣、李焕民;中坚艺术家徐冰、苏新平、应天齐、张敏杰、王华祥、陈琦、陈海燕;以及年轻艺术家王超等。

The styles of the prints

The sixty prints in the Portfolio range from images cut into a single block and printed in black on white paper to more complex images using a number of blocks and printed in up to ten different colours, some printed in oil-based colour whilst many are printed using traditional water-soluble colours offering wash like effects. Blind embossing, waste-block printing, colour blends, image montage and many other creative techniques are represented – all founded on strongly drawn research and design.

这套《木版画原作集》所用技法手段多样,包括水印、粉印、油印、黑白、套色、绝版、饾版、拼贴版等刻印技法。上世纪九十年代中国艺术界思想活跃,中国艺术家对传统的继承,对民间艺术的兼收并蓄以及对西方艺术的大胆借鉴都在这套作品集中得到集中体现。这套木版画原作集已经成为中国版画的现代发展以及走向广阔世界的一个里程碑。

The audience of the portfolio

The Portfolio provides a perfect opportunity to museums, art institutions, collectors and Chinese related businesses and companies to acquire sixty original woodblock prints, printed, numbered and signed by the artists. The portfolio is unique because it contains a substantial number of original prints that demonstrate the range and depth of technical and creative invention from artists whose work is normally unavailable outside China. It is a ready-made collection, a ready to hang exhibition, the prints are also tailor-made for company boardrooms and offices.

这套作品集给博物馆、艺术机构以及收藏家们提供了一个独特的可以收藏到六十幅中国当代版画的机会,每一幅版画上都有艺术家的签名以及印张数。这套作品是一套可以立刻进行展览的展品,它也特别合适公司企业等收藏。这套作品是独一无二的,因其中的所有作品都是特地为木版教育基金的这项活动创作的,表现了艺术家的一系列技术和创作上的多样性和独创性。

The accompanying catalogue

To encourage as full an understanding of the Portfolio as possible, a specially commissioned hardcover book entitled The Art of Contemporary Chinese Woodcuts accompanies each portfolio. This beautifully produced book contains essays by scholars and experts in the field together with a dual language glossary of woodblock printmaking terms.

伴随着这套作品的,木版教育信托还特地出版了一部专著,题为《中国当代木刻艺术》,这本书装桢精美,收集了世界著名的木刻版画专家的相关论文,还附有木刻版画的双语辞典。

The editions and price

155 copies of each image have been printed, the printing blocks are now the property of the Trust, therefore no further copies can or will be printed. Of the 155 Portfolio sets, 5 sets are hors-de-commerce, 60 sets were donated to the artists who contributed to the project and 90 sets are available for sale. The Portfolio is available from the Muban Educational Trust at the price of £27,500. Income from sales goes to support the ongoing work at the Trust.

这套《木版画原作集》中的每一幅版画都印制了155份,所有的木刻原版也都为木版教育基金收购(2013年木刻原版全部捐赠给大英图书馆收藏)。在这155套作品中,5套归木版教育信托收藏,60套赠送给参与此项活动的艺术家们,另外90套可供销售。目前作品集的价格为£27,5000,出售作品的收入将用来支持木板教育信托的工作。

To date, the Portfolio have been collected by the British Library, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin), The Oriental Museum, University of Durham,  the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, the Nanjing Museum of Art (Nanjing), the MCH Foundation, Vesenaz (Switzerland), Paning Foundation, Novel Energy Ltd (Beijing),the Xu Yuan Printmaking Workshop and Art Gallery (Beijing), China Print Museum (Shenzhen),  together with private collectors in Europe, China and the United States.

至今为止,此套作品已经被伦敦的大英图书馆,芝加哥艺术博物馆,都柏林切斯特贝蒂图书馆,德伦大学德东方博物馆、伯明翰艺术博物馆,南京博物院、瑞士MCH基金会,北京柏年基金会,北京虚院美术馆,中国版画博物馆(深圳)等艺术机构,以及美国,英国,欧洲及中国的私人收藏家收藏。

The Muban Trust

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