• 2017年04月18日 16:04      摘要:版画       来源:颂雅风




Michael Kempson: Work and Play


Curator: He Wei


Exhibition time : Apr 20th – Apr 30th, 2017


Curtain time: Apr 22th 5:30PM


Exhibition Venue : Song Ya Feng Art Centre, Beijing, China.




Organizer : Beijing Song Ya Feng Culture Media Limited Liability Company

Printmaking Department, School of Fine Art, the Central Academy of Fine Art

International Academic Printmaking Alliance


Address: Building NO.305, Li Ze Xi Yuan, Wangjing, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Get off the Beijing subway Line 14 at DONGHUQU Station through Exit D 



安徒生的童话故事《小锡兵》里有二十五个玩具锡兵,他们是由同一把旧的锡汤匙铸出来的。这些锡兵全都一模一样,除了一个,他只有一条腿;他是最后一个被铸出来的,熔化的锡不够用了,于是让他用一条腿稳稳站住,一条腿的他在众多的小锡兵中显得非常特别。安徒生以深情的笔墨描述了这缺了一条腿的小锡兵沉默的坚定的爱 、火热的熔化的心,关注着这个特别的小锡兵的的灵魂!


在迈克尔的版画《平庸与美丽》系列里,我们在许多画面里同样也会看到在众多的复数的同类形象中总是存在着一个有意而为的不同的单数的例外。至少从形式上是一个例外(exception)。如:《零点》(2006)中众多的骷颅头中有唯一的大体量的可乐瓶、《酸与甜》(2008)里众多的扭曲的可乐罐几乎淹没了一个纸盒 、《渴望与归属》(2014)中众多的熊猫与独一的排在角落的考拉 、《多米罗骨牌》(2017)中众多的熊猫与考拉等等,重复与差异强调了复数与单数的对比。让我们看到多和一的对比。

这个例外的“一”个什么含义呢?它或者是杰出的、或者是鹤立鸡群的,当然也可以是对集体的不融洽。对立的双方一直是一种静默的对话:是多和一的对话、大和小的对话,是一个不均衡的不对等的对话,也许是一个人的孤独?也许这个例外本身是一个不幸?正因为如此个别,才出现了明显的不一样的价值,它可以摆在不同的语境之下赋予一种多义性。迈克尔一直在强调这个复数与单数的对比与共存,因为这些作品从时间的跨度上看有 十一年(2006——2017)之久,也许在迈克尔这里它包含着很多不同的含义。这个“一”它是那个缺腿的小锡兵吗?

Michael Kempson Zero 2006 etching from Beauty and Banality 

零点 2006 蚀刻铜版画 选自《美丽与平庸》 50×59.5cm

Michael Kempson Sweet and Sour 2008 etching from Beauty and Banality 

酸与甜 2008 蚀刻铜版画 选自《美丽与平庸》50×59.5cm

Michael Kempson Domino Theory 2017 woodcut 66×96cm

多米诺骨牌理论 2017 木刻版画

Michael Kempson Good and Evil 2006 etching from Beauty and Banality 

善与恶 2006 蚀刻铜版画 选自《美丽与平庸》50×59.5cm

Michael Kempson Longing and Belonging 2014 etching 

渴望与归属 2014 蚀刻铜版画 40×61cm

Michael Kempson Trans-Tasman Perspectives 2016 etching

跨塔斯曼海视角 2016 蚀刻铜版画 40×61cm


Michael Kempson AUS 2017 woodcut

AUS 2017 木刻版画 96×66cm

Michael Kempson CHN 2017 woodcut 

CHN 2017木刻版画 96×66cm

Michael Kempson IND 2017 woodcut 

IND 2017 木刻版画 96×66cm

Michael Kempson COD 2017 etching 

COD 2017 蚀刻铜版画 40×32cm

Michael Kempson COL 2017 etching 

CUB 2017 蚀刻铜版画 40×32cm

Michael Kempson GBR 2017 etching

GBR 2017 蚀刻铜版画 40×32cm


Michael Kempson ETH 2017 etching 

ETH 2017 蚀刻铜版画 40×32cm


Michael Kempson East and West 2014 etching 

东西之间 2014 蚀刻铜版画 68×101cm

Michael Kempson Child's Play 2016-2017 etching 

儿童游戏 2016-2017 蚀刻铜版画 260×750cm

The one-legged tin solider and Michael Kempson’s prints 


He Wei


Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, features 25 toy soldiers cast from an old spoon made of tin. These toy soldiers are identical, except for one that stands defiantly on a single leg. He was the last soldiercast, when there was not enough metal to make him complete, but among this phalanx of tin soldiers he is unique, and consequently special. It is adeeply moving piece of writing, where Andersen examines the soul of this solitary tin solider, inventing a narrative that captures the essence of a quiet, passionate and steadfast love that inevitably leads, tragically, to a melted heart.


Numbers have an inherent complexity, a dynamic comparable to the challenging process of printmaking. Michael Kempson’s prints deploy the poetic language of numbers by intentionally and consistently comparing the plural with the singular, and exploring the rhythms of repetition in contrast to the focus applied to the unique. In his series Beauty and Banality, we see distinct figures set among a cast of identical others. This interest in the individual offers, at the very least, an exception to the formality of the many: in Zero(2006) among the numerous skulls is the hint of one large coke bottle; in Sweet and Sour(2008) consumed coke cans dominate the sole milk carton; in Longing and Belonging(2014) a multitude of pandas overwhelm the lonely koala positioned in the corner, bottom right, a composition echoed in the woodcut Domino Theory(2017). These are all comparisons between the recurrence of the “mass” and the idiosyncrasies of the “one”.


What is the meaning of this exceptional “one”? Could it be that in identifying the outstanding or distinguished, a discord is offered to that of the collective? Does it suggest that the counterpoint of opposing groups results in a silent conversation - a conversation between the big and the small that is ultimately inequitable? While one might see that being an exception is unfortunate, on the other hand this could also be a positive. Because the notion of being an exception is unique, it obviously has a distinction where the appreciation of its value becomes clearer relative to the larger context. This exploration of the relative coexistence between the singular and plural has been an enduring area of interest in Kempson’sart for the past eleven years. As is the case in the infinite potential of numbers, maybe there is a multitude of meaningsin Kempson’s prints. Or perhaps this complexity can be best expressed in the “one” like Andersen’s one-legged solider? 


In Kempson’s most recent work Child’s Play (2016/17), his pursuit of the question of the singular and plural is still evident. The image is the sum of many parts with a formal arrangement of toy animal figures that enhances the presence of the singular, unique and inseparable individual. These animals each representa different country, the panda for China, the bald eagle of USA, Canada’s beaver, the Spanish bull and Australia’s koala. Cuteness abounds. They are thoughtfully designed, with each animal arranged in trapezoid-like shapes of common component parts. There are touches of cubism, as well as a hint of realism in the portrayal of many deadpan emotional expressions. It reminds us of the manufacturing process of toys and their display in department stores - a never-ending assembly line of production. Using the editioning nature of printmaking, Kempson mass produces a plurality of cuteness. He also implies an inherent mediocrityin consumerism, an unavoidable by-product of industrial mass-manufacture: we drink the same beverage; play the same game; consume the same culture. In another context Kempson’s multiples of animals question the homogenisation of humanity by asking, is there no room in the world for the imperfect, lone one-legged solider?