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JACKY TSAI | EARLY SKULL PRINT EDITIONS NOW AVAILABLE

April 24th 2016
Eyestorm has been working with Jacky Tsai to create stunning screenprint editions since 2012, many of which have sold out in their entirety. Three of our early Tsai editions from 2012 and 2013: ‘Soul Harvest’, ‘Vermilion Light’ and ‘Stained Glass Skull’ have now become available on the secondary market. Read more about the growing interest and increase in value of Jacky’s work below.

We first approached Jacky Tsai to make exclusive screenprint editions Soul Harvest and Golden Harvest back in 2012, as a result of his work being so well-received. These prints were extremely popular and became the first of many more to come; to date, we’ve released twenty two Tsai editions due to the growing interest for his work, and this is certainly something that is set to continue.

Four years ago, the Shanghainese artist was best known for his iconic floral skull creation, made popular by Alexander McQueen in 2008 when the British fashion designer displayed the image on his autumn menswear collection. Today, Tsai is recognised for his innovative and vibrant works which fuse together complex collage-style imagery influenced by traditional Chinese artistic techniques and western Pop Art, which has resulted in numerous solo shows and high profile collaborative projects over the past five years.

Despite this progression in his work, the skull has remained a reoccurring motif for Tsai, and still appears in current pieces such as print editions Chinese Floral Skull and Chinese Floral Skull Lenticular, released in autumn 2015. It’s only the early print editions, however, such as Soul Harvest and Golden Harvest, and later Vermilion Garden and Vermilion Light, that display the original ‘McQueen’ skull design, which place these works among the most iconic of Tsai’s collectable pieces. Having sold out quickly after their release, these prints are now beginning to emerge on the secondary market, namely Soul Harvest and Vermilion Light, two of the works we’re presenting today.

Stunningly eye-catching, these print editions pushed the boundaries in terms of printmaking at the time of their release, especially the ‘special’ versions: Golden Harvest, which included 24 carat gold leafing, and Vermilion Light. The latter saw Tsai use glow-in-the-dark ink for the first time, which has since appeared in works that followed -most recently in NY Cityscape Stamp - and perhaps was one of the first indications of Tsai’s inventive way of thinking in terms of introducing new ideas and materials into his working practice. With hand-applied palladium leaf forming the backdrop, which sits over smaller 3d versions of his floral skull creation that form a repetitive pattern, the flowers, birds and butterflies in this 12-colour screenprint glow a soft green when the lights go down, allowing the skull image to be seen in the dark. Vermilion Light is an impressive example of Jacky’s work and remains one of his strongest pieces to date.

Towards the end of 2013, Tsai moved into new territories with his skull emblem. Continuing to deal with issues that involved Eastern and Western cultural differences, he controversially used a symbol of Christianity - a religion that is not typically well-received in China - as his inspiration to create the striking Stained Glass Skull. Meticulously put together, there’s a sense of the monumental about the imposing image that floats against a rich black background. Two and a half years later it’s available once again, this time on the secondary market, giving those who missed out the first time around a chance to acquire.

It’s interesting to consider how the print editions released only three or four years ago have seen such an increase in value as Tsai’s career has progressed. Soul Harvest was priced at £500/$625 at the time of its release in September 2012 and an edition of a similar size and stature, like Chinese Floral Skull which today is available at £2250.00, was launched at £1,200/$1,500 in autumn 2015.

Following Soul Harvest in 2012, as each new print edition was released the launch price became slightly higher than it was for previous prints. A year later in 2013, Vermilion Garden also an edition of 50 - was priced at £720 / $900 when it first came out; its sister print Vermilion Light, an edition of 20 with its glow in the dark and palladium leafing, at £2,800 / $3,500, which was higher than Golden Harvest, an edition of 10 with gold leafing which launched at £2,000 / $2,500 in 2012 alongside Soul Harvest.

May 2014 saw a collaboration with luxury Asian brand Shanghai Tang and the creation of six prints which were smaller in scale; five of them in editions of 60 priced from £600 / $750, and one in an edition of 20 at £1,900 / $2,400. Now in 2016, Tsai’s most recent editions of 60 - The Erotic Dream of the Red Chamber and The Affair to the East- are priced from £1545.00, which is a 10% increase since their release last month.

The sheer demand for Tsai’s work is highlighted in the success of his newest screenprint, NY Cityscape Stamp, which sees the artist create a series of unique screenprints - as seen with the notable ‘playing cards’ series’ - that each have a different printed number as the price in US cents in the top right hand corner. Only released at the end of March, at £2,800 / $3,500, in four weeks it has quickly seen a price increase to the £3600.00 today, due to popularity.

This consistent growth in value of an artist’s work is healthy, and to be expected from Tsai whose career is constantly progressing. His first London solo show in Mayfair’s prestigious Bond Street in 2015 was hugely well-received, with original works - priced between £18,000 / $22,500 and £24,000 / $30,000 each - selling before the doors opened for the private view. Solo exhibitions in Hong Kong have been similar, where collectors welcomed new work with open arms. With plans for three more solo shows in Hong Kong, London and New York this year alone, not to mention new print editions, Tsai is showing no signs of calming down.

Soul Harvest, Vermilion Light and Stained Glass Skull are all now available on the secondary market. See the works in more detail, along with current works by Jacky Tsai here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
 
JACKY TSAI JACKY TSAI
Soul Harvest Vermilion Light
 
 
JACKY TSAI JACKY TSAI
Stained Glass Skull Chinese Floral Skull
 
 
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If you own a print, which is now sold-out and you wish to sell, we have clients who are looking for select pieces. You can get in touch with us via the Contact page, which you can find here.
 
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