Press Matter

 

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Press Matter is a studio located in Shanghai that specializes in the delicate craft of printmaking. Founded in 2012 by two local entrepreneurs, Yang Mo and Chen Jie, their printing studio has been up and running for nearly four years now. The two demonstrated the entire process of lithographic printing for us, from beginning to end, using a piece of work from the artist Mingming, a customer who frequently uses their studio.


印物所是一间提供不同手工印刷方式的工作室,由两位而立之年的上海男生杨默和陈捷创立,从2012年至今,已经将近4年了。印物所常驻艺术家明明创作的這幅作品让我們有幸见证了一副石板版画从石板打磨到印刷成品这整个过程。

One might expect that Yang Mo and Chen Jie would share a story with us about how their passion and persistence led to the start of their print studio, but this was actually not the case. The pair tells us that the real reason behind starting Press Matter was rather simple: they were displeased with the extortionate inflation of prices for limited edition artwork in China. Artwork that has been mass-produced with a machine press is seen as less valuable in the eyes of many collectors, but this drop in value doesn’t happen when the same artwork is hand printed. Printed work is also unlike artwork that was created solely for the canvas, which is very exclusive, limited, and in most cases for the average person, nearly impossible to obtain. Their goal is to popularise printmaking in China and to make art something that everybody can afford.


在这情怀一词泛滥的年代,大到盖房子,小到卖冰淇淋,无不以情怀说事儿。本来以为杨默和陈捷会诉说一个坚持手工充满情怀的动人创业初衷,结果俩人非常朴实得表示最初成立印物所大部分原因只是对国内限量艺术品价格虚高的不满,而手工印刷这种方式令艺术品既不像机器印刷那样因为大量复制而失去收藏性,也不像画布作品那样因为太限量而变得遥不可及。正如版画在国外的普通家庭里是非常常见的艺术收藏品一样,他们想在中国推广手工印刷画作,让艺术品变成普罗大众也能消费得起的一种商品。

Yang Mo and Chen Jie have experienced their own fair share of challenges over the last four years. Despite facing these hardships, Press Matter maintains their devotion to creating work with sincerity, while also still holding a reverence for handcrafted artwork.


虽然杨默和陈捷成立印物所的初衷并不是一碗读者期待的鸡汤,但是在这不算顺利的创业4年中,印物所始终秉承着一种对手工和艺术的敬畏之心在创作。

Yang Mo comes from a background with professional printing experience, and through his expertise, he is able to provide invaluable feedback to his current artist clientele, whether it be the method of printing, choice of paper, or the ink ratio. His method of printing can be described as intimate with a touch of serendipity. This approach allows Press Matter to produce highly sought-after prints with great collection value.


作为正经版画专业的科班生,杨默为艺术家提供了极为专业的意见,印刷方法的选择,纸张的选择,颜料的配比,这些充满独一性、偶然性和个人性的因素交织在一起,印物所制作出了一批又一批具有高度收藏价值的画作。

On the other hand, his business partner Chen Jie comes from a background in the advertising industry. Because of that, he is able to provide all of the possible sales channels for their prints. He also has fostered a mutually beneficial link between art lovers and underappreciated artists. The whole process starts when the artist first creates their work. Press Matter then provides the artist technical assistance during the whole printing process, and also contacts art galleries and various sales channels. Art lovers are then able to purchase their favourite works more easily, allowing the artists to make money off their work.


而广告行业驰骋多年的陈捷则调用自己强大的艺术品交易渠道资源,在怀才不遇的艺术家和艺术爱好者之间建立起一个健康的链接:艺术家创作 → 印物所提供技术支持并联系展示、销售渠道 → 艺术爱好者购买到心仪的作品 → 艺术家靠自己的作品生存下去。

Nowadays, even with so many different printmaking techniques to choose from, lithography still remains one of the most trusted methods. It is capable of yielding the most impressive results by bringing out even the most minute of details from the original work in its exact likeness. Another benefit of lithographic printing is that it allows traditional artists to be able to reproduce their work without being restricted by technology, while also being able to use more traditional methods of illustration. This allows the artist to be able to infuse their own personal style into their work.


在各种手工印刷方式中,以石板印刷效果最优秀,这种在石板上创作并拓印的方法制作出来的印刷品从各种细节上都堪称可以与原作相媲美,这种方式也让传统画家不受限于技术条件,采用传统方法作画,最大程度地发挥艺术家自己的风格。

In addition to the creativity and labor put into the original artwork by the artist, in every print there is also the artistry that was instilled during the hand printing process. This is what makes hand printed artwork so fascinating, and that much more desirable for collectors.


一幅手工印刷画作制作完成的背后,除了包含艺术家的智力劳动外,也包含着手工者的个体创造性,这大概就是手工印刷的魅力吧。

Weibo: @印物所
Instagram: @Press_Matter

 

Contributor: Taylor Shen
Photographer: Chan Qu
Videographer: Jia Li


Weibo: @印物所
Instagram: @Press_Matter

 

供稿人: Taylor Shen
图片摄影: 
Chan Qu
摄影摄影: Jia Li