12 November 2008

Great Wall - Final Print

Click image for larger view


Japanese woodblock (moku hanga)
Image size: 14" x 22" (35.5 x 56 cm)
4 shina plywood blocks
27 hand-rubbed impressions
Paper: Echizen Kozo
Edition: 10
Based on a satellite view of the Great Wall of China at Jyonguan.

With the addition of a few disappearing nomads, I feel satisfied with this print as it is. Although the population of China overall is over 90% Han Chinese, the western provinces are populated with ethnic minorities, most notably Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs, groups whose language, culture and religion are distinct from those of China's Han majority. Both the Tibetans and the Uighurs complain of a colonial-style Chinese presence in their territory which imposes tight religious and cultural strictures. They also insist that economic development in their regions has disproportionately benefited Chinese migrants. Han Chinese, on the other hand, say that they are bringing progress and economic opportunity to backward areas and don't understand why anyone would complain. As I've said before, it reminds me of the westward expansion of the United States in the 1800s and the way that "progress" decimated the native American peoples and their cultures.


d. moll, l.ac. said...

Wow, yeah, I am in awe. Lovely and thoughtful and powerful. 27 impressions is quite a lot. In your edition of 12, were there some that didn't make the cut your do you manage to bring them all through (sort to speak) ?

Annie B said...

Hi Diana. Nice new profile photo! Well, I just changed the edition size to 10, so that sort of answers your question. I always lose a few along the way. I was working with 15 sheets of paper on this one. The first 2 or 3 are always too pale or otherwise messy as I get a grip on how to print the block, and then I often lose one or two more as I go.

MaRegina said...

wowww ! a HUGE work for a great wall. I love it!


Tom Kristensen said...

Amazing print Annie. Great narrative and I really like the range of printing textures. So many good things to look at, but for me the ones and zeros, the turtle and the nomads are my favourite elements

Annie B said...

Thanks MaRegina and Tom. I too am very fond of the turtle. Tom, very interesting prints you're making about Australian outlaw Ned Kelly! I like them a lot.

Kit said...

Beautiful image, and fascinating story. I enjoy following your work in this medium!

Annie B said...

Thanks Kit. I haven't printed on fabric as you do, but it looks like we can share some techniques nevertheless, and certainly some inspiration! Thanks for following along on this print.

Leslie Moore said...

Really remarkable, Annie! I hope you'll bring your prints to the workshop this weekend. I'd love to see them in person. Can't wait!

Amanda said...

Hi Annie, It's been so long since I've had a chance to visit. Last time I was here you were working on the 0s and 1s. Now I've had a chance to track back through these posts and I am speechless. But also very inspired...I'm also going to do some printmaking in 2009. All the best for the new year.