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JACKY TSAI | 'PUPPETS' SCREENPRINT EDITION LAUNCH

October 15th 2016
‘Puppets’ is a brand new screenprint edition by Jacky Tsai. Having made its debut at Tsai’s solo exhibition in New York in September 2016 where it received a fantastic response, this is its official launch.

When we first saw the initial idea for Jacky Tsai’s new screenprint edition Puppets, we were excited at the fact that it was very vibrant in colour and, despite the presence of the superhero characters which had also appeared in previous works, it felt refreshingly different to Jacky Tsai screenprints that had come before.

Playing with scale, Tsai presents an oversized Chinese general as the dominant character - a puppeteer who appears to be controlling smaller western superheroes such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain America by pieces of string tied around their limbs. The superheroes seem in distress and powerless as they fall about the stage, with some unable to function on their own - Spiderman hangs limply backwards as if dead or asleep - and some looking as if they’re trying to escape. Set in a Chinese theatre, eastern characters in traditional dress take in the show with enjoyment from their seats in the stalls and the balconies.

As with all of Tsai’s work in the past, Puppets is loaded with symbolism and underlying messages. Here the puppeteer represents control; the control Tsai believes the Chinese government has on western influences, portrayed here by the superheroes. This in turn relates to Tsai’s thoughts about the ‘harmonious society’ - a socioeconomic vision in China that served as a new direction in Chinese communist leadership in recent years which was based on stability and social cohesion. By presenting the native onlookers in traditional dress and setting the scene in an authentic eastern establishment, and then portraying them in his signature bold and bright ‘Pop Art’ style, Tsai is subtly commenting on the conflicting self-identities of modern China. Although Tsai now resides in London, he grew up in Shanghai and frequently visits his motherland; very much still in touch with his heritage, this is a subject that remains extremely close to his heart.

The print itself is beautiful in the flesh. Rich and vibrant in appearance, Puppets is a substantial 18 layer screenprint, hand printed to get stunning results. As the window piece at Jacky Tsai’s debut New York solo show in Bowery in September 2016, it understandably drew in passersby to see the show and proved to be a popular choice amongst collectors. For Tsai fans, this is stunning new edition is certainly one to have a look at.

Puppets is available for £1395.00. See the edition of 60 in more detail along with other work by Jacky Tsai here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
JACKY TSAI
Puppets
 
 
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