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Final report summary Next Century 1

The Next Century project, has been an exhibition tour and a series of Chinese artists' visits to the West Swedish region.
Project leadership team:
Sweden: Björn Therkelson
China: Waverly Liu
Economy: Göran Boardy
Continuity: Eric Saline

One of the members of Grafik i Väst (GiV), Eric Saline, brought an old friend from The Massachusetts College o Art and Design, Boston MA, Waverly Liu, to exhibit together with Chinese collegues at Grafiska Sällskapet (GS) in Stockholm in 2014 and GiV in spring 2015. Waverly then organized a line of appearances by Swedish Art Printmakers in China. Later on she brought two Shanghai gallery owners, Jai Gao and Arys Shen, to visit Sweden and the annual meeting of GiV in order to to select prints from GS and GiV for exhibitions at The Space Gallerý in Shanghai. Later that year, 2018, Björn Therkelson as chairman of GiV made a countervisit in Shanghai.

Simultaneously, six West Swedish print studios in union carried out an exhibition tour around our region showing art prints from the period when graphic prints was established as an art genre in its own right, gradually freed from its tasks as complementing oil painting and illustrating books. This tour was called Grafikseklet (The Century of Art Printmaking).

Grafikseklet exposed a selection ranging from an etching by Anders Zorn from 1916 to fanzines from 2016. Grafikseklet was based on the private collection of Svenrobert Lundqvist. The project laid during 2017 a foundation and an appetite for further cooperative ventures.

The Next Century project period started Apr. 2019 and kept on until Sept. 2020. During this time. nine Chinese graphic artists and three partners and also assistants to three of these have visited West Swedish graphics studios. The stays have varied in length from three weeks to four months. We have made important contacts and forged strong friendships.

Participating Chinese artists
Seventeen artists were invited, nine of them came and brought three companions. A few of the eight absent artists declined of personal reasons but the majority were hindered by cancelled air flights and/or the Swedish entry ban on non-Europeans. They hope for a later possibility. Two artists, Mo Di and Lü Wenting, had their stays prolongued due to unforeseen travel restrictions. A few sent their works but did not come here in person.

Physical visitors:
The majority of our visitors are professors or earlier professors of an Art Academy.
Zhu Ye 16/5- 16/6 Ålgården
Wan Ming and Mu Beini 16/8 – 23/8 Marks Konstgrafiska Verkstad
23/8 – 4/9 KKV/Everyday Pictures/Rudströmska Villan
Hu Die joins 3/9 – 4/9 Rudströmska Villan
Wan Ming, Hu Die,Mu Beini4/9 – 6/9 Ålgården
6/9-16/9 Skaraborgs Konstgrafiska Verkstad
Waverly Liu 23/9 – 28/10 Everyday Pictures/KKV/Russia
Qu Zuochun 7/12 - 21/12 Marks Konstgrafiska Verkstad
Chang Bowen and Pei Pei 16/1-11/2 KKV Gothenburg
Gao Mengdi and Han Bao 25/1-7/2 Ålgården
Lü Wenting 9/2 - 14/2 Ålgården
14/2-21/2 KKV Gothenburg / Lizz Sharr
21/2 - 4/3 Skaraborgs Konstgrafiska Verkstad
4/3 – 27/3 Skaraborgs Konstgrafiska Verkstad /Binneberg
27/3- 3/6 Ålgården
Mo Di 1/3-13/3 Vänersborgs Konstgrafiska Verkstad
13/3 - 22/3 Skaraborgs Konstgrafiska Verkstad
22/3 – 8/5 Ålgården

Short info on participating Chinese artists
1. 朱晔 Zhu Ye (BFA, Shanghai Academy of Art, MA, Kent University, UK)
2. 万鸣 Wan Ming (BFA, MFA, Hubei Art Academy. Currently on the faculty of Hubei Art
3. 母贝旎 Mu Beini(BFA, Hubei Art Academy. MFA, Nigata University, Japan. Currently
on the faculty of Hubei Art Academy)
4. 度度 Waverly Liu (BFA, California College of Arts and Crafts; MFA, Brown University.
Currently runs Studio Dodo in Canton)
5. 吕文婷 Lv Wenting(BFA, Sichuan Fine Art Institute, BFA MFA, ESAG Penninghen
School, France. currently runs Bonbon Studio in Beijing)
6. 莫頔 Mo Di(BFA, MFA, Guangzhou Academy of Art)
7. 瞿作纯Qu Zuochun(BFA, MFA, Guangzhou Academy of Art)
8. 常博文 Chang Bowen(BFA, MFA, Guangzhou Academy of Art;currently teaches at
South China Agricultural University)
9. 胡沁迪Hu Qindi (BFA, MFA, China Academy of Art, co-founder of Dream Factory and
abC Art Book Fair)
10. 商昌荣 Shang Changrong(BFA, MFA, Xi’an Academy of Art, currently on the faculty of
Xi’an Academy, runs Shike studio in Xi’an)
11. 张敏杰 Zhang Minjie (BFA, MFA, Central Academy of Art, professor of art at China
Academy of Art)
12. 寇疆辉 Kou Jianghui(BFA, MFA, Tianjin Academy of Art, phD candidate, Central
Academy of Art. On faculty at Tianjin academy and runs own litho studio in Beijing)
13. 郭梦迪 Guo Mengdi(BFA, Shanghai University of Technology; MFA, Shanghai
University of Art. Currently on faculty at Tianhua Institute, Shanghai Normal University)
14. 秦屹 Qin Yi(BFA, Nanjing Tech University, MFA Shanghai University. Currently on
faculty at Tianhua Institute, Shanghai Normal University)
15. 章愳 Zhang Ju(BFA, Shanghai Normal University; MFA, China Academy of Art)
16. 曾雷Zeng Lei (BFA, Central Academy of Art)
17. 徐增英 Xu Zengying (MFA Donghua University, currently teaching atSipo Polytechnique
University. Has won numerous national and regional art prizes.-

Participating non-Chinese artists
Alexandra Hedberg.
Ann Löwenstein
Ann-Charlotte Enochsson
Asta Norkut’e
Birgitta Lorentzon
Björn Eriksson.
Britta Strömbäck.
Carrie Bobo.
Davey Hammarstrand
David Bramham.
Eric Saline.
Erja Tienvieri.
Eva Olsson.
Eva Skogar.
Gunilla Boije af Gennäs.
Jakt Jasim.
Hillevi Nagel.
Gun Ulriksson.
Is Hand Eriksson.
Ingela Zacharoff.
Inger Bernholdsson.
Jan Hilmersson.
Jim Berggren.
Karl Pettersson
Kristin Rapp.
Kristina Thun.
Leif Robertson.
Lisa Holmgren.
Maria Segerström.
Maria Winbjörk. info@mariawinbjö;
Marianne Förars.
Marie Falksten.
Nina Bondesson.
Nina Nilsson.
Rune Persson.
Stefan Tielscher.
Theo Ågren.
Ulrika Hembjer.
Vera Ohlsson.
Valter Ruth.
Rolf C Håkansson.
Marie Palmgren.
J M Schmidt.

Main hosts
Ålgården Christina Lindeberg and Gunilla Boije af Gennäs
Everyday Pictures Co Jim Berggren and Nina Bondeson
Nils-Erik Mattsson and Jens P Svensson
Artists Collective Studios in Gothenburg, KKV: Walter Ruth, Gemei, Lizz Sharr, Eric Saline
Skaraborgs Konstgrafiska Verkstad in Skövde: Jan Hilmersson and his family, Mats Svensson
Binnebergs Tingshus: Jan Hilmersson
Marks Konstgrafiska Verkstad and Marks Konsthall in Kinna: Rune Persson and Theo Ågren
Vänersborgs Konstgrafiska Verkstad in Vänersborg: Marie Isaksson and Erja Tienvieri
Vänersborgs Konsthall: Kajsa Frostensson and Märta Cassel
Ambulating Good Spirit all over the place:
Eric Saline
Lithographic Academy and Studios in Tidaholm: JM Schmidt

External support:
Sven och Birgitta Eliasson på Kinnahult bed & breakfast I Kinna

Next Century Exhibition Tour 2020.
During the period of application we have recieved 244 suggestions by 72
artists. We have, not without agony, picked 73 works by 41 artists.
Together with the Chinese works conveyed by Waverly Liu, the Next
Century Exhibition Tour holds 116 works by 58 artists.
Curator China: Waverly Liu.
Curators Sweden: Marie Isaksson, Björn Therkelson
Grafik i Väst 11.1 – 29.1
Ålgården i Borås 8.2 – 23.2
Binnebergs tingshus 29.2 – 15.3
Marks Konsthall i Kinna 21.3 – 5.4. Livestream
Litografiska Akademin i Tidaholm 30.4 – 31.5. Livestream
Vänersborgs Konsthall 22.8 – 26.9. Livestream
In addition to the preplanned exhibitions, emerged smaller shows along the way, ie.; Mu Beini and Wan Ming, for instance, made an exhibition in the One Room and Four Windows space in Skövde.

Bo Borg tycker om denna utställning:
”Det är imponerande att se hur mycket arbete de utfört under sitt besök. Vistelsen har förutom arbete i grafikverkstaden också inneburit en rad studiebesök. Och så det viktigaste. Mötet mellan konstnärer med helt olika kulturell bakgrund blir inspirerande och lärorikt för alla inblandade.”

At Grafik i Väst in Gothenburg Mo Di and Lü Wenting made an livestreamed exhibition with interaction from China during their period of forced stay with us (due to the pandemy), "Stranded". Starting 25/4 -20

The artistical result of the project
The artistical result of the project is apparent in the exhibitions and in the exchange of experiences at the different studios and common day trips. The works done by our visitors were mainly works done prior to our encounter, brought to us by earlier travellers but also works done in our studios, such as Zhu Ye's intimate drypoint suggestions and Qu Zuochuns astonishing blockprints Accumulative Transformation II and III. The China made prints revealed the great technical resources of several Chinese Art Academies, as well as the skill and level of devotion of their students and professors. Some works were initiated in Sweden, completed on return to China and then again transported back to us to join the exhibition. Examples of this are Mu BeiNis amazing blockprinted book Meet and Wan Mings hybrid woodcuts Volcano 0 and 1. Hybrid means in this case that Wan Ming worked the stocks by hand as well as by laser cutter at KKV in Gothenburg.

Effects of the project
A number of talks have been given in China;
Mu Beini gave a talk to her students at Hubei Art Academy
Four of our guests gave a talk, A Swedish Odyssey, Four Chinese Artists Looking at Sweden.

Expectations. Lodging, working and fraternizing.
It showed that the urge to work undisturbed in a studio for a few weeks was a bit greater than expected. This is obviously a needed possibility. Waverly Liu tells:
"...the opportunity to visit Sweden and be immersed in the art world there is a precious and maybe somewhat transformative experience for many Chinese artists. In China, without government support, most of them have to be in a job in the ”system” and for many young artists who have free spirits, it is often disconcerning to their creativity. Being in Sweden in the free and friendly environment has been greatly inspirational and encouraging to them.”
All of our guests found however, at one time or another, time to visit Eric Saline and his family in Utby, some even slept over. Lizz Sharr housed Lü Wenting a number of nights, they seem to have had a great time together.

The Hilmersson/Landgren family in Binneberg liked to be visited and took care of Lü Wenting during a considerable part of her 4-month stay in Sweden. They also brought her and Mo Di to an excursion on Mösseberg and an exotic feast on fermented herring at the home of Björn Therkelson. We also found time to visit some places of interest such as the Watercolour Museum on Tjörn, the Historical Museum as well as the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg, the TextileMuseum and Abecita in Borås and an excursion to Tidaholm with the Lithographic Museum and workshop and surrounding sights. The original project plan was to accomodate our visitors in our homes. Instead, most nights were spent in youth hostels, hotels or an artists' guest quarter. This is an experience to be taken into consideration when we develope our contacts further.

Skiljer sig projektets resultat från det förväntade?
Does the result of the project deviate from what was expected?

No one expected the corona pandemic to occur. It forced a break in the NC program in March 2020. Two artists, Mo Di and Lü Wenting were stranded with us for months due to national entry bans and severe reductions in air traffic. Five of the invited artists, planned to work with lithography in Tidaholm, had to cancel or postpone their visits. Members in our studio associations seemed at times in cautiousness reluctant to visit their own common studio; they had possibilities to work elsewere, i.e. at home. The 8th of March 2020 we held an emergency meeting for all concerned at Ålgården to agree on suitable measures. However, the exchange died out by itself. We have furthermore been told, with a countervisit in mind, that most Chinese individuals have very limited space at their homes and would find it hard to house a Swedish guest for several weeks.
On the whole, we expected more collaboration and conversation between Sweden and China but can only recognize that the political climate together with the pandemic seems to have turned the world the opposite way without any turning point in sight.

Projektets regionala relevans och räckvidd
The project's regional relevance and scope
Next Century has joined print making artists and institutions not only within the West Swedish Region but also established links between West Swedish printmakers and a number of collegues in China. It is the most inclusive project ever carried out by Grafik i Väst.

Hur många nåddes av projektet och på vilka platser?
How many were reached by the project and in which places?

Next Century Exhibition Tour encompassed six planned exhibtions and some arranged with short notice.The visits have aroused public interest at involved places such as Göteborg, Vänersborg, Kinna, Borås, Skövde, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan.

• talk in Quantang 68 printmaking studio, Canton, 2020, four of us gave a talk about our journey Waverly Liu, Chang Bowen, Qu Zuochun, Mo Di, audience of 30 people
• Yu Art Space, Canton, 2020, same talk given, audience of 40?
• wechat article by Shang Changrong etching studio, also by Art Academy Printmaking Association, to readers of a few thousand?

The project was to a great deal inhibited by the corona pandemic.
The span of the projekt was vastly reduced by the pandemic.

Björn Therkelson, projektledare