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A4AB | “Trace Experiment” Printmaking Workshop

  • Date
    Session 1 & 2: 2023.09.30 14:00-18:00 Session 3: 2023.10.28 15:00-17:00
  • Location
    Session 1 & 2: Multipurpose Space, 4F, A4 Art Museum Session 3: LuxeTown
  • Organizer
    A4 Art Museum
  • Speakers
    Xiao Xiao, Yang Jie


Printmaking is the art of “traces,” where different types of prints and operators can produce entirely different artistic effects. Through the use of various materials and creative methods in printmaking, viewers can understand the diverse applications of graphic and color languages. Artistic means are employed to delve into the public’s exploration of environmental awareness, with richer materials providing strong aesthetic characteristics.

Materials and images come together to form coherent compositions that clash with each other, creating a visual impact. Rich, humane, tense, and restrictive, then released—this is the artistic charm presented through the observation of the environment during the printmaking experiment process.

A4AB has invited two artists specializing in different print types, Xiao Xiao and Yang Jie, to try to establish a more open educational experiment based on their experiences in printmaking practices.

The three workshops involve silkscreen printing, water-based woodblock printing, and relief printing, using unique print forms to discover traces. A “unique print” is often referred to as “painterly print” or “printmaker’s painting,” characterized by its unique artistic nature. It removes the reproducibility inherent in printmaking and integrates the most charming unpredictability of creation. This approach re-engages with the living environment, materials used in daily life, natural environments, and natural materials.

The Trace Experiment adheres to observing the connections between people and nature. The workshop is divided into three parts, each having a progressive relationship from structured to less structured content. By building an experiential platform and offering a rich selection of materials, each workshop emphasizes maintaining curiosity about the unknown and re-engaging with familiar things.

  • "Trace Experiment" Printmaking Workshop Session One

    Silkscreen Tool Room

    Date: September 30, 2023

    Time: 14:00-18:00

    Location: Multipurpose Hall, 4th Floor, A4 Art Museum


    Screenprinting, also known as stencil printing, involves transferring color onto paper through gaps in a silkscreen. Its vibrant colors and compatibility with various substrates make screenprinting widely accessible and popular. In this workshop, an open experiential area is set up where participants can bring their own recycled paper materials, such as children’s old textbooks, used homework, dusty promotional booklets, magazines, disposable paper bags, old clothes, etc. Using their materials, participants can select patterns and materials from available silkscreen frames on-site to experience the art of screenprinting. This process revitalizes texts and images we once thought to discard, infusing old materials with new life through the enhancement of colors and graphics.

  • "Trace Experiment" Printmaking Workshop Session Two

    Hydro-Wood Effect

    Date: September 30, 2023

    Time: 14:00-18:00

    Location: Multipurpose Hall, 4th Floor, A4 Art Museum


    Water-based woodblock printing originates from China and is a traditional Chinese printing technique that has also become beloved in Japan, where it is used in the famous “Ukiyo-e” prints. Xuan paper, wooden blocks, and water-based pigments together create the unique characteristics and ontological texture of water-based woodblock printing, forming a unique artistic language.

    This workshop explores the interesting interaction between “wood” and “water” through the process of printmaking. A key player in this reaction is the wood varnish we commonly use—incorporating varnish adds a layer of complexity to our dialogue with the materials. Participants can use varnishes of varying densities to paint on wooden boards, which inhibits the reaction between water and pigments on the wood. The final printed images will also show the blocking effect of the varnish. Of course, the printing techniques and the pressure applied also contribute to the final artistic outcome.

  • "Trace Experiment" Printmaking Workshop Session Three

    Replicating Space

    Date: October 28, 2023

    Time: 15:00-17:00

    Location: LuxeTown


    The principle of relief printmaking is based on the texture of an object’s surface—its bumps and indentations. By capturing different levels of relief, it replicates a “real” space. In the art world, the printing function and replicative nature of printmaking have always given artists a love-hate relationship with it. Image culture has spread through printmaking, yet at the same time, artworks often lack unique value.

    This workshop leverages the replicative aspect of printmaking to record the real world: paper or other materials are placed over an object’s surface, and through the pressure applied by printmaking tools—rollers—the ink contacts the raised textures of the object, leaving traces on the paper. This process captures the real traces of the objects’ existence. Unlike photographic realism, the records of printmaking replicate without repetition.

    The workshop will take place outdoors, with participants assigned different tasks and routes in a game-like format. Afterwards, everyone will return to an indoor space to create an “Impression Journal.” This journal will help review and observe familiar environments in a new way.

  • Speaker Introduction

    Xiao Xiao (Graduate of the University of Marburg, Germany, majoring in Sculpture Art. Established the printmaking studio PRESSPRINT in Chengdu in 2019)

    Yang Jie (Graduate of Tama Art University in Japan, majoring in Printmaking, Independent Printmaker)