The landscape of Nanjing’s rural outskirts is one I’m very familiar with. For me, it has a special significance as a memento of my youth. It reminds me of the endless changes and impermanence of time, life and the past. When things become too familiar, we often overlook them. When we look at them with a fresh perspective and mindset, we realize that these ordinary landscapes hold profound emotional import.
Chen Qi created a series of woodcut boards for Twenty Four Solar Terms in the 1990s, but he did not print out all limited editions. When one of the solar terms (a sort of sub-season in the traditional Chinese calendar) arrived, he would return to the corresponding work, a process that continues today. The original boards are frozen in the 1990s, but with the passage of time, the artist’s mindset has been gradually maturing and changing, and each new printing presents a different flavor. Perhaps this is the unique gift that water-based printmaking has given to the artist, nourishment for a richer spiritual imagery.