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JACKY TSAI | NEW EDITIONS LAUNCH

March 6th 2016
Jacky Tsai’s new limited edition screenprints feature superheroes with traditional Chinese characters in their native landscape, as Tsai continues to work with ideas that deal with the merging of Western and Eastern cultures. Read more about the making of the work and Jacky Tsai’s intensions behind each piece below.

The Erotic Dream of the Red Chamber and The Affair to the East are Tsai’s twentieth and twenty first Eyestorm editions, and are arguably amongst his best to date. Based on the imagery used in two of the artist’s original lacquer pieces, which were shown in his Bond Street solo show last year, the new screenprints are inspired by stories from Chinese literature, and feature superheroes such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash Gordon amongst traditional Chinese characters in their native landscape as Tsai continues to work with ideas that deal with the merging of Western and Eastern cultures.

As with previous works of a similar nature, such as ‘Save Empress Wu’ and ‘War War War’, the two new prints each have their own narrative. The central focus of The Erotic Dream of the Red Chamber is a blind-folded superman in a beautiful Chinese garden, circled by alluring Eastern women in traditional dress. Superman’s inability to see represents a loss of power and vulnerability, perhaps due to the female characters that surround him who appear to be giving him their full attention. To the upper right corner of the piece sits Jia Baoyu, the principal character in the classic Chinese novel ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’. Known for his love of women, Jia Baoyu is jealous because their focus is on Superman and not him, and begins to draw his sword as if about to attack. In the bottom right corner stands the only contemporary girl in the piece, who appears to be hiding, not impressed with the blindfold game. Along with superman’s, this girl’s presence brings the piece into the modern day.

The second print, The Affair to the East, features the monkey king from 16th century novel ‘The Journey to the West’, who is reportedly one of the most popular fictional figures in Chinese history; quite apt for this Chinese New Year - the year of the monkey. This is a love story between the monkey and Wonder Woman, who hold each other fondly in the centre of the image. It seems, however, that others aren’t too happy about the affair due to cultural differences and war breaks out between East and West, represented here by Western superheroes and emperors and fictional characters from the East - such as the pig man Zhu Bajie, also from the novel- fighting with each other in every corner. Next to the pig at the bottom of the image, their master, Xuanzang, attempts to cast his power over the monkey king, but to no avail. Where The Erotic Dream of the Red Chamber is set in a garden, The Affair to the East sets the scene in heavenly surroundings as the subjects appear to be floating amongst the clouds.

In both prints, gold and silver metallic inks are used to emphasise the luxury and beauty of the rolling landscapes. With no less than eighteen screenprinted layers in each piece, these works have been exquisitely executed by the talented printers Jess and Joss at Jealous print studio.

The two prints will be making their debut at AAF in Battersea, London, from 9th March. Both in editions of 60 and an impressive 85 x 105 cm in size, the works can be seen in more detail and bought online at the launch price of £1545.00 each here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
 
JACKY TSAI JACKY TSAI
The Erotic Dream of the Red Chamber The Affair to the East
 
 
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