Trykkeriet is pleased to present new works by Apichaya Wanthiang in collaboration with Kitamura Woodblock studio. The exhibitions opens on June 3rd, first with a meet the artist session from 6 p.m and then the second part of the opening from 7 p.m.
Ahead, Instead is the result of a two part project. At first, I traveled to Kyoto, Japan to learn the basics of Japanese woodblock printing from master carver Shoichi Kitamura. While in Japan, I got to visit several buildings designed by Tadao Ando as well as the Isamu Noguchi museum. My interest lies in Ando’s use of weather elements, such as light and wind, to animate his architectural spaces and in Noguchi focus on texture and the haptic. For the second stage of the project, Kitamura traveled to Bergen to work with me at Trykkeriet.
For this exhibition I have taken as my starting point the photographic images gathered in Japan. In several ways this exhibition is a travelogue: firstly, all the images come from specific encounters I’ve had in Japan. Secondly, I’ve tried to attend to the performative aspects of images, revisiting long term interests such as the construction of depth by other means than perspective, repetition and difference and peripheral view.
Traditional Japanese woodblock print or Mokuhanga follows a strict set of rules. The two most important are: each color layer has its own carved plate and each plate has precise registration marks (consisting of a carved and indentured corner and one additional groove). The registration mark allows for each printed layer to align. The result of these two aspects are clear images, with crisp outlines and color alignment.
In this exhibition I’ve tried to challenge these two preset conditions. Most of the images are made from one plate, but have been printed several times in different colors. Instead of being precise, I made use of an approximate registration mark. The outcome of this approach is a slightly off-set and misaligned image.
For this exhibition Kitumura has carved and printed four images for me. He’s doing this through reduction print. This technique only allows for a preset number of prints. Once a layer is carved and printed, the next ones are carved and printed from the same plate. It’s a kind of extraction with preset limits, where each next layer is already embedded in the previous one. You cannot go back and do over, thus the process is harder to control.
The scope of what you’ll encounter in Ahead, Instead, exists in this generative tension. Kitamura´s abilities to master and control every aspect of his craft versus my attraction to energetic, direct, happy accidents that are process led and geared towards an unexpected outcome.
The project and exhibition is supported by Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation Norge, Kulturrådet, The Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo, Municipality of Bergen, Norwegian Printmakers, Globus Opstart Nordisk Kulturfond, Trykkeriet.
Apichaya (Piya) Wanthiang (B. 1987, Bangkok, Thailand) holds a BA from Sint-Lukas, Brussels and an MA in Fine Arts from Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB). Through a range of different mediums and approaches, Piya constructs environments in order to study how they influence our perceptions, behaviours and interactions. She has worked part time as Assistant Professor at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, and the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD) in Bergen. She has been on the board of LNM, the Norwegian Painters Association and UKS, The Young Artists’ Society. Piya has had solo exhibitions amongst others at Unge Kunstnernes Samfund, Kristiansand Kunsthall, Hordaland Kunstsenter, and the Munch Museum. Her work is a part of Oslo Kommunes Kunstsamling, Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum and Kistefos Museum.
Shoichi Kitamura (b. is a professional Mokuhanga carver based in Kyoto, Japan. Kitamura has a long experience in producing works for both Japanese and foreign artists. Among his previous productions is the works for the Australian artist, Brook Andrew entitled “Danger of Authority”.
In Japanese Mokuhanga tradition you are either a carver or a printer. Kitamura considers himself as a professional carver, but he also has a lot of knowledge about the printing process. His studio offers both productions and workshops for artists.
Background for the collaboration between Apichaya Wanthiang, Kitamura Woodcut studio and Trykkeriet
Asbjørn Hollerud and Rita Marhaug from Trykkeriet first heard of Kitamura during a lecture by Dr. phil Ruth Pelzer-Montada at the Hordaland Art Centre in 2018 when she talked specifically about the amazing works he had produced for artist Brook Andrew. The next year there was an amazing Mokuhanga exhibition at KODE by Helen Frankenthaler produced in Kyoto during the 80´s in collaboration with Crown Point Press. We got very inspired by this exhibition, and wanted to do something similar as Trykkeriet in collaboration with Kitamura Woodblock studio. The exhibition by Wanthiang marks the first of three upcoming collaboration projects with Kitamura Woodblock studio.