Current

2 September 2018 until 13 January 2019
Inky Bytes
Traces of Ink in the Digital Era

As part of CHINA TIME Hamburg, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) has invited artists to engage with Chinese ink traditions such as ink painting, book printing, and stone rubbing, as well as with MKG’s own East Asia Collection. As a result, the exhibition Inky Bytes. Traces of Ink in the Digital Era shows works by the Print the Landscape Public Art Project and the artists Shan Fan, Dagmar Rauwald, Liu Ding, Yang Yongliang and Zhou Fei, who illuminate various aspects of digitalisation and urbanisation, two key themes of this year’s CHINA TIME Hamburg (1–23 September 2018).

Today’s digital media and technologies are putting traditional image-making techniques to the test, sparking an intense exploration of the traditional arts. More than half of the contemporary works presented were created exclusively for the show at MKG. They reflect the diversity of ways in which artists are treating the traditional use of ink. One of the central motifs is the city as landscape and habitat. The featured artists from China and Hamburg demonstrate very personal impressions of the city of Hamburg, for example, by doing stone rubbings with ink on paper of ceramic tiles in the Old Elbe Tunnel in St. Pauli or of flood markers, church walls, the “Stolpersteine” stumbling blocks that commemorate Nazi victims, and even manhole covers. Over 150 works on view also include installations, paintings, videos, furniture, robes, woodcuts, posters, hanging scrolls, and porcelain. Moreover, the exhibition reflects the considerable impact and possible functions the MKG's high-caliber collection of historical Chinese art, which once served as a set of modes for artists and artisans, can unfold today in Hamburg and in a more global perspective. MKG regards itself as a venue linking various stakeholders of the city’s art scene while also connecting Hamburg and China. A catalogue in German and English will be published in early October to accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition is realised in cooperation with the Zhejiang Art Museum and generously funded by the Behörde für Kultur und Medien der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg and the Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft.

 

Print the Landscape Public Art Project, Rubbing from wall tiles of the St. Pauli Elbtunnel, Hamburg, 2018 (detail), ink on paper, on loan from the Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, © Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou