Tracing Shadows: East Asian Printmaking

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What’s it all about?

A long time ago, well before the camera was invented, people had many different ways to create important messages or images. ‘Tuo ben 拓本’ is a traditional printmaking technique which was invented in Ancient China. This technique was to trace images onto paper, recording them for others to see. It had many uses, from tracing engraved writing on monuments and grave stones, to copying the shapes of fossils and fish. This printmaking skill can be used to trace everyday objects, revealing different perspectives.

What will we cover?

In this class you can learn the basic history and philosophy of ‘Tuo ben’, and learn how to create your own prints. Beginning with the traditional skill, we will also look at contemporary interpretations of this practice, encouraging experimentation and creativity. Compared with other printmaking techniques, ‘Tuo ben’ is relatively easy to do, and requires very basic materials, so anyone who learns can do it cheaply at home.

Who will be teaching?

UBUB is a community artist who is focused on participatory processes of collaborative creativity. She graduated from a Fine Art University in South Korea with a printmaking major, where she organised lots of community art projects. She has worked as a professional mural painter, a video artist, comic creator and performance artist. UB moved to Melbourne 3 years ago and has since organised some community art projects at CERES environmental park, City Library, Federation Square and others. You can find her work at