Liu Kuo-sung, Early Spring, 2015

The print is composed of two plates and seven colors, in a total of two runs. The forest at the foot of the mountain gives off a thriving energy. In order to reproduce this lively foliage, the color plate required of five colors; red, yellow, blue and two greens; mixed and blended to create a natural green tone. The interweaving lines of leaves and branches are particularly well adapted for the etching needle, especially with the effects of biting, in which acid corrodes the copper exposed by the needle.

The mountain ranges of the original is composed of heavy ink by a wet brush, and the main plate of the print also relies on the heavy use of ink, which effectively renders the mountains’ contours. Above the mountains lies a layer of cloud and mist, shrouded with a sense of mystery. So, during biting, the exposure time is lengthened to maximize the acid’s effect. The element of chance played by how acid reacts demonstrates the excitement of recreating an image in printmaking.

In the history of etching printing, this print is milestone. The size alone is a breakthrough; although the original painting itself is already large, the print was made even larger. Secondly, the original composition is complex, with complicated lines and intricate colors, forcing the print to be split into two separate plates. One is a multicolored plate composed of five colors, all of which must be manually applied and mixed on the plate for each run. Although a multicolored plate of this size is demanding and labour-intensive, the completed image is much more rewarding than conventional monochromes.

Artist: Liu Kuo-sung (Liu Guosong)
Based on Early Spring, 2004
Medium: Etching Print on Paper (2 Plates, 7 Colors, 2 Runs)
Image: 100 x 200 cm (39 3/8 x 78 3/4 in.)
Paper: Arches, 100% Cotton, 300 g/m2
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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