Hong Kong Open Printshop – Tour

This past January, in the midst of circumnavigating the globe, I stopped in Hong Kong for a week. While there I had the opportunity to visit the Hong Kong Open Printshop, a community printshop in the Kowloon neighborhood of Hong Kong.

 

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Okay, so, here’s a photo of the door of the studio. I was asked to not take any photos of the interior of the studio, not for any need for secrecy, but because they were in the midst of transitioning to a newer and larger space and their studio was at that time a mish-mash of equipment, boxes of prints, general clutter and a bit of well loved chaos.

Inside these doors I found a pair of enthusiastic, warm, funny, and knowledgeable women, YUNG Sau-mui and HO Yuen-yu, Louiza. We drank coffee, talked about prints, and printmaking and found that though we come from very different parts of the world, we have much in common. I got the chills while listening to YUNG Sau-mui recount the transformation she is witness to as a teacher of students from a range of backgrounds. We talked about how sometimes when students are learning printmaking, with the indirect application of mark, there is space for them to grow, between wanting to ‘get it right’ and learning to let go and allowing the process to direct the mark. And how subsequently, that ‘letting go’ will seep into their lives outside the studio. I feel privileged to see this expansion happen for my students, and even more now that I know this can also happen, half a world away, in a small studio in Hong Kong.

And this, lovely, open, light filled space is where they are moving to, directly across the hall from the smaller space that they have occupied since 2000. In the new space they will continue to offer access to letterpress, litho, offset, silkscreen, and intaglio printmaking.  They are also hoping to be able to offer an international residency… at some point in the future.

 

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Since their founding they’ve been greatly invested in audience building. The studio directs community collaborations that bring together disparate populations from their surrounding neighborhood. For two years they directed a project that brought together kids and elderly adults to make art together.

 

I visited in the week before Chinese New Year, considered a lucky time of the year to buy new things; new clothes, and even a new print for your house. And so there is a tradition of purchasing new wood block prints specifically for Chinese New Year. Hong Kong Open Printshop has a collection of over one hundred wood blocks with auspicious designs associated with New Year.

 

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In this print, in front of YUNG Sau-mui you can see a woman carved in a circle that represents harmony.  In the weeks leading up to New Year they were taking these blocks out into their community to print in and with the public.

They also were in the midst of installing an exhibition of new year prints in the large exhibition space located in the center of their building complex.

 

 

 

 

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Take a minute to learn more about their programs. And if you happen to be in Hong Kong, be sure to find your way here.

 

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Categories: Printshop Tour, Uncategorized


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