Traces and Traditions: Vietnamese Woodbock Prints

Le Quoc Viet, Four Sacred Animals, 2000, Woodblock print on Do paper. Edition of 5.

International Print Center New York announces the presentation of Traces and Traditions: Vietnamese Woodblock Prints, opening Wednesday, March 19th and remaining on view through Thursday, May 1st. IPCNY is located at 526 West 26th Street in New York City.

Used as talismans, religious images, and as works of art, Vietnamese woodblock prints illustrate the continuity of cultural expression in this rich and ancient civilization. Traces and Traditions follows the evolution of woodblock printmaking from early impressions by Vietnamese ethnic minorities, to historic Buddhist images and texts, to traditional Dong Ho folk prints, to the work of five leading contemporary printmakers working in Vietnam today.

Exhibition coordinators of Traces and Traditions are Judith Hughes Day and Suzanne Lecht, specialists in Vietnamese contemporary art.

Traces and Traditions: Vietnamese Woodblock Prints complements a concurrent exhibition Vietnam: Journeys of Body, Mind, and Spirit, a collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi.

Contemporary artists represented in Traces and Traditions are Phan Cam Thuong, his accomplished former student, Le Quoc Viet, and three additional printmakers: Tran Nguyen Dan, Luu The Han and Nguyen Duc Hoa. Blocks and woodcarving tools are included in the exhibition. Phan Cam Thuong and Le Quoc Viet will present demonstrations of contemporary and traditional Vietnamese printmaking techniques at events scheduled at both New York exhibition venues. The event at IPCNY will be held on April 3rd, 6-8 p.m.

Among the historic prints, a rare Oriental anatomic chart from the Tay minority combines the occult and the scientific. Chinese characters fill an outline of the human form and are used by by fortune tellers to identify ailments.

Left: Oriental Anatomical Chart, hinh Nhan Y Hoc, Dan Toc Tay, 17th-18th century woodblock print on Do paper, collection of Phan Cam Thuong.
Right: Amitabha Prayer Illustration, A Di Da Phat Tiep Dan, 19th century woodblock, printed in 1997 on Do Paper, Yen Ninh Pagoda.

International Print Center New York is a new non-profit institution founded to promote the greater appreciation and understanding of the fine art print worldwide. Through innovative programming, IPCNY fosters a climate for the enjoyment, examination and serious study of artists' prints--from the old master to the contemporary. IPCNY offers its members a program of workshop and gallery visits, and has established an informational website. IPCNY's new prints program presents an ongoing series of juried exhibitions of contemporary prints. IPCNY depends upon public and private donations to support its programs.

Funding for Traces and Traditions: Vietnamese Woodblock Prints is generously provided by the Ford Foundation.

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