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May 26, 2017

Print students visit from Taiwan

CIA master printer Karen Beckwith hosts three seniors from the National Taipei University of Education

Print students visit from Taiwan

Photo by Robert Muller/CIA.

To Taiwanese students visiting the United States for the first time, everything here looks big: the buildings, the people, the food — everything. And they’re drinking it all in.

Three seniors from the National Taipei University of Education have been hosted in May by Karen Beckwith, master printer and technical specialist in Printmaking at the Cleveland Institute of Art. While in Cleveland, they’ve spent days making prints at Zygote Press and in the CIA printmaking studios, learning processes they don’t use in Taiwan.

Among their experiences in Cleveland: “We’ve learned lots of new techniques and we went to the Asian festival,” said Lian Sin Yu, who goes by the American name Cindy.

She and classmates Hsieh Tsai Lin and Sun Yi An will graduate on June 10. Liam and Tsai Lin will do further training in teaching techniques. Yi An, the only one among them who previously visited the U.S., heads to a residency in Japan.

Their visit grew out of Beckwith’s 2016 summer residency with Bamboo Curtain Studio, a non-profit cultural exchange program headquartered on a farm outside Taipei. It was the first trip Beckwith had like that, but she knows it won’t be her last.

“For me, it was such a different view of the world,” she said. “It makes the world seem not so big. And the people in Taiwan are generally just kind and helpful.”

Soon after she arrived in Taipei, she met members of the local print community, including two art professors from the university. “They asked me if their students could come here — pretty much as soon as I met them,” Beckwith says. “How could I say no?”

The women arrived in the U.S. in early May and spent a few days on the museum circuit in New York City. At Zygote Press, Rebecca Wilhelm (CIA ’09) taught them green printing — techniques that eliminate the harshest chemicals used in with traditional printing. At CIA, Beckwith was teaching them lithography, the stone-based technique they have no access to in Taipei.

Their works are being collected with others, made by members of the CIA Printmaking Club, for a print exchange.

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