Bill Brand

In 2016 I was an artist-in-residence with Katy Martin in China at Shanghai University. The project I had proposed was to draw pencil on paper from photographs and video. But once there, I started painting with ink because, as residents in the Chinese painting department, we were provided ink, paper and brushes and were expected to use these materials. 

During our stay, I filmed and photographed two Shanghai artists, Zhuang Yin and Zhao Bo, having asked them to take me to favorite places that had special meaning for them. Yin chose a small grove of trees, an urban oasis surrounded by building construction, and Bo chose a street market for plants and pets. From these photographic images I drew with pencil and painted with ink.

Untitled (Bo & Yin Market 1), 2016. Ink on xuan paper 27” x 38”

The works on paper derived from video and I wanted to bring drawing back to the video. I drew abstract shapes with ink that I animated and composited digitally with the video footage, a technique I had developed in the 1980’s with analog film and optical printing.

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