Monday, January 21, 2008

Fotanian: Open Studios

Saturday saw R. and me rushing after work to one of the remotest parts of HK for the Fotan Open Studios.

We only had an hour but were impressed with the range of work, and the well-choreographed event. The Fotan artists studios hold their open studios twice a year. Next time we'll be sure to spend the entire day!

Photo of work by the artist Carol, Lee Mei Kuen

I was particularly intrigued with the work of Carol Lee Mei-Kuen. As we walked into a studio, I did a double-take: most of the work displayed looked just like cyanotypes, but they were golden ochre and sienna rather than blue. "How do you make these pictures?" I asked her, drawn in by the silhouette of a lace tablecloth. They had to have been done with some UV/photo process.

"This is newsprint - I put the object on top and leave it in the sun for awhile," she said.

"How long?" I asked. "For an hour or two? And do you need to leave your windows open for the sun to affect it?" I'd never heard of ageing newsprint this way. Newsprint is a cheap yellowish drawing paper, often used by students for disposable drawings.

"No, much longer," she smiled. "I leave it in the sun under the window for many weeks, even a month or two."

I shook my head in amazement, silently promising to be patient the next time my printing plans were frustrated on a rainy day.

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