Saturday, 8 December 2012

15-19 Nov 2012 : ACG & Print artists go to Macau & Shenzhen

Hi,.. not quite jet lag (it's only 4.30hrs away) but life's been hectic, hence the overdue posts.

Macau, by nite...a enchanting place!

The two 'glamour' ladies
Celebration (Portuguese) dinner, after exhibition opening

ACG was asked to find a writer for a group of Malaysian-based artists who were invited to participate in the 1st Macau Printmaking Triennial and needed to submit a 5000 word article on the Developments of Print Making in Malaysia (ie. since 1930s-today).  After asking around the art circle and getting a negative response (who has the time to research and prepare a 5K essay?), i took up the challenge, which proved a most enriching experience!

Comes in a set of two volumes
Published  in 3-languages, Macau-style!

Frank (right) and Jarvis, his assistant
After the article was sent together with the art works - 8 pieces from 8 print artists, my Malaysian organiser, Frank Woo started to plan for the trip to attend the exhibition opening. Only 5 artists could make it as others had other commitments. Frank (our former very active ACG president) was adamant that i join the group as he appreciated that i spent many weeks working on the article, He also wanted me to experience and meet other printmakers from Asia and so his company sponsored my trip. Very thankful, for we all had such a wonderful & enriching experience. Another ACG member was also very excited to join in as she loves to travel and widen her appreciation of all art forms. And so Kak Siti and me made up the rest of the team together with their spouses.

Ilse Noor, Lye Yau Fatt & Faizal Suhif could not make it
I call this a 'team' because even though some of us just met but we were united, due to our passion for the arts, and actually, them were all very nice people, no airs even though some are academically, some artistically and some financially superior. We helped each other, even before the day of departure. Kak Siti us helped by giving us valuable contacts - a reliable tour agent in Shenzhen. Siew Lee gave me moral support and encouragement when we faced some difficulty in planning the trip.

They helped each other weigh their luggage the night before returning back to Malaysia (courtesy of Kak Siti's travelling weighing scale) to ensure no one's baggage was over the weight.make quite a racket. Luckily we  had the whole side of the hotel to us. It was quite a feat because our bags were HEAVY due to the numerous books and artists catalogs amassed during our 6-day trip.  Loo Foh Sang, artist extraordinaire collected unsold paintings from gallery in Shenzhen. That was a huge & long package with 6" diameter. The guys took turn trying to lift it to check the weight! And due to the numerous tries, the weighing scale almost gave way!

After 3 days in Macau, we took the ferry to Shekou Port, en route to Shenzhen city.  Our travel agent had assigned a capable guide, a young Chinese man who loved to add a sprinkling of Malay to his sentences :)

Muslim peddlars selling a traditional delicacy of nuts & fruits

Why were we there?  Not so much for the shopping (though we were staying at Lee Garden Inn, right smack in the middle of Sg Wang-style shopping area heaven). Our intention was to visit a Print Artist village called Guanlan Printmaking Base.  So bright an early the next morning we headed for Guanlan and they took us to see the Printmaking Workshop but was not allowed in, so could not interact with the printmakers who were pretty busy printmaking to notice any visitors!  We were only allowed to look in from a fish bowl kind of enclosure.  I guess there was some misunderstanding (or was that the normal procedure), for we not mere tourists. We wanted to interact, exchange ideas or at least view in more detail the processes.

Well, maybe when another one of our artists goes in for residency, then there will be another chance to visit & explore. Btw, one of our print sifu, Loo Foh Sang had actually stayed here for 10 days doing his residency some years ago.

Inside the Guanlan Printmaking workshop enclosure
Besides this place ,we also managed to squeeze in visits to many art museums, art centres like OCT Contemporary Art & Loft, and Dafen Oil Painting Village, etc.

For more of our trip, do visit our printmaking blog,

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