I’m Ling, and I make prints. I also like looking at prints, handling prints, accessioning prints, printing with others, reading about printmaking. I like all of printmaking, screenprinting, etching, litho, but also monotypes, and digital prints. Each is a voice in a choir, an instrument in a band. I sure love teaching print. At least, I think I do. Or did. I can’t be sure now.
I definitely love print, but it is a complex and difficult relationship. Once you poke your head up from the press and look at the world around you, lots of questions appear. Some of these are existential and timeless, the sorts of questions about examining life, not unique to art, or printmaking – why am I here, what am I doing, what’s it all for?
Other questions are more in this moment: is what I’m doing sustainable? Is what I’m doing causing harm? Is printmaking sustainable? Is it causing harm? If printmaking is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it? No, geniunely, why isn’t everyone doing it? Are there barriers built it, biases in its design, exclusions in its practice?
I’ve lost a lot of time confronting my practice in my mind, while I raced about with teaching and technician jobs. Sometimes the bigger questions take over the work, and the visual themes of empire, migration, and memory take a backseat, it’s a flaw I recognised in myself. There was never enough time or energy to make any changes, or to try and answer any questions.
So here I am, in 2021, following the strangest, saddest, angriest, weirdest, most eye-opening two years many of us will have experienced. I’ve left full-time teaching and technician life, for the life of an artist trying to answer questions. This is where I will be recording some of my findings.