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NEW JACKY TSAI PRINT RELEASE | STAINED GLASS SKULL

November 15th 2013
Stained Glass Skull, our stunning new screenprint edition by Jacky Tsai, sees the Chinese artist continue to explore the skull motif as he recreates it in the pattern of a stained glass window, commonly associated with churches and cathedrals in Western culture.

Angie talks to Jacky about the new piece below in an exclusive interview to introduce the work in today’s article.

AD: What first gave you the idea of focussing on stained glass as a theme for this piece?

JT: I’ve been focussing quite a lot on Chinese crafts this year, and so I wanted to do something different. This summer I travelled in Europe with my family, and we did lots of sight-seeing around churches and cathedrals. I was inspired by the patterns in the gothic Christian imagery of these beautiful windows that seemed to be works of art in themselves, and taken by the intricate imagery in the glass. When you walk into a church or a cathedral, there’s an overwhelming feeling of peace and optimism, and I wanted to get this across in my work. I love the gothic style of the finished image in this print.

AD: There are obvious associations between stained glass windows and Christianity. Is this a controversial theme for a Chinese artist to deal with in their art?

JT: It is quite controversial for a Chinese artist to deal with this topic. As a Buddhist I have very different beliefs to Christians, but for me this piece is not about religion, it’s more to do with the sense of peace and tranquillity that religion can evoke within; a sense of stillness and beauty, and this is what I wanted this piece to be about. For me skulls are a peaceful symbol as well. Chinese people (myself included) are often scared of skull imagery and this work is about overcoming my fears to create something beautiful. With the obvious religious connotations comes an element of beauty, and there’s a spiritual aspect of you want there to be, but for me, this is not essentially what this piece is about.

AD: How do you think ‘Stained Glass Skull’ will be received in China?

JT: I hope they will think it's beautiful, and this is the most important thing for me. I hope that they won't see anything scary in the skull. I don't think they will necessary make the connection between religion and stained glass because in China stained glass is used in restaurants for decorative reasons, and it's not necessarily associated with religion. It’s more the skull that would cause issues in China than the stained glass imagery.

AD: 'Stained Glass Skull' is a fantastic progression from the floral skull that featured in previous editions such as Soul and Golden Harvest, Vermilion Garden and Vermilion Light. Will you continue to focus on the image of the skull in your work moving forwards?

JT: 2014 will see a break from skulls - I feel that there have been too many skulls in my life recently! For the next year or so I plan to focus on other subjects, and then may return to the skull image at a later date, perhaps with a new exploration of this symbol that I always seem to be drawn back to. I’m always looking to challenge myself, and while I like exploring a subject in depth and am interested in the repetitive nature of Pop Art, I don’t want it to become tiresome, so am always looking for the next thing so that I can progress.

Beautifully created at the Jealous print studio in East London, Stained Glass Skull is exclusively available through Eyestorm from today at the pre-publication launch price of £780 [incl. vat] / $1,040. See the piece in more detail here.

ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
JACKY TSAI
Stained Glass Skull
 
 
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