The current mini-print triennial is an invitational competition for selected and awarded artists from the past 3 triennials; therefore, the quality of the entries were naturally quite high. Since we jurors were divided in our views in selecting award pieces, we had to repeat the voting again and again. I could say that the jurying, that much more, was worth doing.
In tableau, the idea of mini-size is apt to be regarded as a derivative or a personal taste. But in print art, the size can present an individual attractive expression of small space that a large-size work can never realize. Clearly demonstrated in the brushstroke of Abstract Expressionism, tableau is naturally required for a bodily scale, but the expression in which print intervenes between the body and the picture plane can develop a deep, condensed palm-size world of its own. I would dare to say that the Triennial Exhibitions realized by the system of mail may owe to the introduction of the extremely explicit “modernistic manner,” granted that there were the matters of expenditure or time and effort.
Now, let me make some comments about the awarded works. The grand-prix piece by Katarina VAVROVA (Slovakia) depicts a minute image of dense fantasy. Or, the image may be a scene of a specific story, but it is fascinating and mysterious enough to invite viewers to an older time or an exotic land. This piece, though small, lets us feel a rich spatiality, as shown in the contrast between the picture and the blank, and the treatment of the layered depth.
SANPEI Mitsuo, winner of semi grand-prix, is somehow an unbridled and
print artist. I found it interesting that with, in a sense, the odd large-oval shape in its central part, its compositional imbalance is actually connected to an insolent sense of humor. I was also attracted by the children's picture-like charming lines.
The jury award piece by Robert BARAMOV (Bulgaria) shows a surface unifying a symbolic motif and a surrealistic illusion, and a technically high-level quality. In addition, an allegorical space is created there, containing a kind of absurdity due to the arrangement of light and shade and the effects of uneasy colors.
Another jury award piece by KIM Jong Ryeol presents a picture plane containing an unusual tension in which smoky, indefinite shapes are drifting on a jet-black earth. Though the sight could have been properly described as pastoral, the maker's interest, I wonder, is rather taken into a conceptual manipulation to produce “a space as a phenomenon” with the use of a technique of print. I also noticed the tactile, thick mati*re of the ground.