Tianjin Printmaking Workshop – the First Print, 2017

Woodcut with Eva

YAC Print Workshop, Tianjin, China


21 September – 16 October 2017

I arrived in Tianjin Printmaking Workshop from Dunhuang, where was the opening of the exhibition and conference. It’s about 2000 km by airplane. It was early morning and the sun only started to illuminate the mountains, and the fog slowly disappearing from the valleys. Wonderful view through the window of the airplane – mountains with snow. It’s looks like somebody pour the sugar on the top of mountains…

Mountains in China in the morning

Tianjin Printmaking Workshop located in the new areal, about 1 hour driving from Tianjin, near the Bo sea. It is new Print Workshop, opened on the Spring of 2017, and we are the first residency artists. The spaces of the Workshop incorporated in big complex of buildings with galleries, books store, theatre, and other activities of culture.

Art Center in Tianjin

Tianjin Printmaking Workshop

Bo sea at low tideNear the Bo sea

Everything is new and modern. All rooms for artists are installed in Scandinavian style with open water and electricity installations on high ceiling, with new furniture from IKEA and many real flowers.

View from the window at night

The Printing workshop has new printing presses – “Takach Press Corporation” from USA, comfortable tables for working, good art materials, wood carving knifes from Japan.

Tianjin Printmaking Workshop, Printmaking Department

"Ammunition" for an artist

But the main thing is – the people. New and the young team, very friendly and kind staff, and supper professional young masters for printing intaglio, silkscreen or woodcut; and good and kind translator. No stress at all!!! That is really fantastic. They work hard, very hard, sometimes in Saturdays and Sundays, and you have to work hard and to do what is in your contract, but there no confrontation, only a friendly mood. Always. No stress, no stress at all.

I was invited in Tianjin Printmaking Workshop by the boss of the Workshop Mr. Li Yingxu, very intelligent man. When I arrived in the Workshop I had to talk with the staff, with the director for creative project Ms. Zhao Linlin about my project for Tianjin. I knew that I will have to create two prints with two colours like in Guanlan. But I didn’t want to create in the same style, which is not my style… So, I asked, could I make one print with 7 or 8 colours in big format, as big as is possible to print, and in topic which is interested for me. And they said – yes! That was great.

Transferring image on the wood plate. Masters for printing woodcut: Wang Yulin & Chen Kong Yue

The idea of my new print for Tianjin was in my mind many years. Only I had no time to express it. So now it was the good time and good possibilities for printing it with many colours. The topic for print in Tianjin was “Eva & Apple”. The idea come to me once in the ferry from Germany to Lithuania, when I was watching my MacBook Air and somebody gave me an apple… but I had the Apple…

Apple and an apple. It has to be some connection. And… it has a big connection.

Apple and Eva. Eva and Adam. So, I needed to find “beautiful” and “well-known” Eva and Adam for my print, as I am always use world famous artists to make on it “replica”. I don’t want to “create” Eva and Adam. I wanted to take it from well-known picture, and to use it as a symbol, which would be recognised by everyone.

Printing the last colour

All edition printed

It was not easy, because here in internet to find nude in old painting is very difficult. But finally, I found wonderful painting of Lucas Cranach the Elder “Adam & Eva”.

Lucas Cranach the Elder “Adam & Eva”


So, the print from two wood plates and 8 colours. And with the support of the staff and big help of masters for wood Yulin & Kong Yue, we did it in 10 days. The last colour – the red apple, I was printed by hand from wooden stick.

Printing / stamping the apple


More articles and more photos about Printmaking Residencies in China



© Kestutis Vasiliunas

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One Response to Tianjin Printmaking Workshop – the First Print, 2017

  1. amani mousa says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading this article about YAC . I’ve been there in august with wonderful artists from Nepal and Australia . i can relate to every word you write about the amazing staff.