In the context of contemporary art, printmaking, as an artistic form, has been clearly neglected. Yet, as a mode of thinking and training, it has become a growing subject of academic interest, which has been highlighted in printmaking pedagogy in the institutions. In some graduation exhibitions each year, works of printmaking students have always attracted more attentions. From the perspective of pedagogy, printmaking includes various topics as the foundation of painting, the knowledge of materials, the techniques of operation and the awareness of boundary crossing. Within such a framework, students might have access to more perspectives of practice, enabling them to explore more dimensions for creation. From the historical perspective, as a tool of representing images, currently the role of printmaking has been weakened. However, it turns into a starting point of inspiring artists’ NEW reflections of art. Based on the thoughts above, I have turned the research orientation of the studio and of postgraduates to Applied Research of Printmaking since 2010, aiming to discuss more possibilities of printmaking teaching from the point of using the prints.
It was in this period that Fu Bin joined my studio as a postgraduate. As a printmaking graduate of China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2007, Fu majored in lithograph in the university and hence acquired a deep study of the unique language of printmaking. After the graduation, he joined the studio of Zhang Xiaogang and assisted Zhang with his printmaking creations. This experience enabled Fu to take a new look at the contemporary art from a different perspective and reconsider his own career orientation. What is the future of printmaking? How could we define the patterns and bounds of printmaking? With all these questions Fu returned to the school and started his graduate course. Fu is a sedate and earnest doer. All these personalities help him master the techniques of printmaking, as an art medium involving both painting and operation. During his three-year study, he turned the direction of his creation from lithograph to woodcut prints. Fu’s works are undoubtedly derived from printmaking, but Fu’s “print” no longer serves for the printing, but gets independent from it instead. By exploring the knife-cutting concave-convex surface in traditional printing, Fu endows his “print” with independent aesthetic character. More importantly, Fu’s works have transformed the “printmaking” from image to objects. Among all the active young artists in the Chinese contemporary art community, Fu is a special one, which is not only reflected in his works, but also in his academic background and his sincere attitude towards teaching. After several years of teaching experience, Fu has become a key member of young teachers in Academic of Arts & Design of Tsinghua University. As his tutor, I feel very proud of him. At this point, I would like to wish him a great success of his solo exhibition at Hong Kong as well as a peaceful and bright future. Also, I hope that Fu could always enjoy his life and enjoy the art world.