Polluta Propaganda Promotional Woodblock Prints (2018-now)

 

All prints are

woodblock prints (Oil-based ink on Cloud-dragon handmade paper)
image size: approx. 18 x 23.5 inches
paper size: approx. 27.5 x 38 inches
after mounted: approx. 34×45 inches
made in collaboration with Marble Print & Clay Studio

 

In 2084, the imaginary country Contradictoria has solved its pollution problem with Plan Polluta. Under this plan, air pollution is condensed into building bricks, which are used to build arcologies called Polluta, floating green vibrant live/work colonies for artists! Artists can live, work and show for free, forever! It sounds too good to be true. It is.

Woodblock prints as an artistic medium have existed in China for over one thousand years, but underwent substantial changes and became a political tool in the twentieth century. Traditional Chinese woodblock prints, delicate and reserved for folklore and religious purposes, use Chinese ink and watercolours exclusively. They are unfailingly busy, colourful, cheerful and life-affirming. In the 1930–40s, Chinese writer and scholar Lu Xun, widely considered the father of the New Woodcut Movement, advocated for the use of woodblock prints as an effective tool to expose the social ills of China and to fight for equality for the poor and working class.

Unlike traditional woodblock prints, which featured fine lines and harmony, artists from this movement used bold, crude lines and printed with European oil-based printing ink. It was a time when China was not accessible to the rest of the world and vice versa. Using a Western material was, of course, a political gesture.

Its history aside, this medium’s graphic and monochromatic physicality is ideal for spreading Polluta’s ecopolitical message. “Nine,” the edition number, is homonymous with “permanence” (very auspicious in the Chinese culture) and “dog” (generally considered lowly and insulting) in the artist’s native Cantonese language. This double word play tightly echoes the duality of Polluta’s narrative.

The ultimate goal of ninety-nine unique woodblock prints will present infinite (the number nine also denotes infinity in Chinese culture) facets of Polluta, dazzling and ever-changing.

 

There are five imaginary countries in total: Contradictoria, the Aristocratic Union, Dreamland, Northlandia and the Republic of Strata. These five micro-narratives will eventually weave together a grand narrative of year 2084, portraying the artist’s imagined futuristic geopolitical world in the Anthropocene.

 

Michelle Kuen Suet Fung 馮捲雪

Michelle Kuen Suet Fung is a visual artist and art educator whose ambitious ongoing oeuvre revolves around a grand narrative of a dystopian world set in the year 2084.

馮捲雪從事視覺藝術創作以及視覺藝術教育,她以不同系列的作品,塑造一個二零八四年的浩大虛擬世界。