By Associate Professor A. Rahman Mohamed
I . Printmaking
Print helped the masses to communicate. The invention of paper in the 6th century in China spreading to Europe in the 15th century revolutionized the art of printmaking. Printed material could then be distributed everywhere.
Printmaking is a process of creating identical multiples image, usually on paper. Prints are created from a single or several original surface, called plate or matrix. Printing is a process of transferring ink from the matrix to the medium, usually paper either using a press pressure or hand rubbed using hard materials such as wooden laden or a baren. Each print from the edition is considered as an original, not a copy. Printmaking can be categorised according to the process or type of original surface used to get the images. These processes are known as, Relief where the ink is applied on the surface of the matrix, these include woodcut, linocut and wood engraving. Intaglio is the process where ink is applied beneath the surface of the plate, etching, drypoint and engraving falls into this category. Stencil is a process where ink is passed through a cut-out place such as screen printing. The other category is Planographic where the image is drawn using greasy materials onto the surface of limestone or metal such as aluminium or zing. The printing relies on the principle of water and grease does not mix.
II . Printmaking Community
Printmaking is one of the genre in Fine Art besides other genre such as painting, sculpture, and installation. The nature of printmaking itself is a hybrid between arts and sciences, between aesthetic and technology. Modern printmaking is a form of a compound media art that fuses artists concepts with the new technological knowledge. These techniques and technology know how act as a kind of adhesive that bound these printmakers together. Printmaking is somehow a communal type of art making. Knowledge sharing is common among them. Presses and other equipments and materials are needed, in these sense artist usually sharing the common workshop. This is either in the form of cooperative workshop where all of them share the cost of running it, or artist can choose to rent a workshop on time block basis. These sharing of knowledge and equipment's make the printmakers feel connected and live in one big community.
Joint Printmaking Workshop by Thakshin University, Thailand and Universiti Sains Malaysia