Liu Kuo-sung, Pressing on the Brow, 2015

The print is composed of four plates and five colors; a base plate of yellow, two middle plates of light and dark grey, and a main plate of black and blue, printed in a total of five runs. The yellow of the base plate uses shuifen pigment, a type of water-soluble pigment developed during the Cultural Revolution for poster-making, and is presently used in industrial printing in China. Unlike traditional water-soluble pigments, shuifen colors are heavier and less transparent.

In Pressing on the Brow, Liu Kuo-sung swept back and forth across the image with a broad brush, spreading heavy ink onto the rice paper and leaving traces of the white paper in its wake. In creating the print, the ink was split into three shades; light grey, dark grey, and solid black. Each shade is printed by a single plate, and layered plate by plate to create a natural rendering. Throughout the printing process, room humidity is kept high and water is continuously sprayed on the wooden plate to ensure the paper’s moisture. This allows the different shades of each plate to mix on the paper.

The woodblock print’s carved lines brilliantly represent to force of Liu Kuo-sung’s iconic brushwork, and with the same elements of ink and wash reassembled through printing, the spirit of the original is faithfully recreated.

Artist: Liu Kuo-sung (Liu Guosong)
Based on Pressing on the Brow No. 4, 1964
Medium: Woodblock Print on Paper (4 Plates, 5 Colors, 5 Runs)
Image: 91 x 60 cm (35 7/8 x 23 5/8 in.)
Paper: Raw rice paper
Date: 2015
Editions of 100, AP10
Literature: The Scripture of a Missionary of Modern Ink Painting II, Lofty Art & Culture, 2015
Signed, numbered, dated, and stamped with a seal by the Artist
Frame: Sold separately

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