23 Sandy is pleased to announce that we are now carrying artist books and paintings by Portland artist, Shu-Ju Wang. This multi-talented, and prolific talent just happens to be one of the very first book artists that we met upon moving to town and you might remember her solo show in the gallery last year.
Known as well for her paintings as for her artist books, Shu-Ju has a unique painting style that is narrative and sweet and complex all at the same time. Her brilliant colors using gouache and acrylic paints leap off the paper and entrance you with their detail.
Shu-Ju tells us, “I’m inspired and influenced by Persian and Mughal miniatures, medieval art, illuminated manuscripts, Islamic art, East and Central Asian art, and also the Abstract Expressionists. I tend to work with a flat or very compressed perspective…”
You can preview her paintings here, but truly, you’ll enjoy even them more if you stop by the gallery and take a look in person.
Shu-Ju, who was born in Taiwan, creates artist books that almost always involve Gocco printing, which is a type of screen printing. She is considered on of the country’s foremost experts on Gocco printing and previously published a magazine on Gocco called Pudding. A regular workshop teacher in Portland, her artist books are widely collected in libraries and museum collections across the country.
Some of her most exciting recent work has been with senior citizens. Shu-Ju received a 2008 Regional Arts and Culture Council Grant to work one-on-one with four seniors suffering from various stages and forms of memory loss. She met with each senior over a period of several months. Together, they painted or editioned suites of Gocco prints. Then based on the work they did together, back in my studio, Shu-Ju designed and editioned a book. Each senior and her family received 7 copies of their book, and Shu-Ju retained 13 of each title. When the project, as it was defined, came to an end, she decided to start Relay Replay Press, dedicated to working with seniors with dementia to create artist’s books that illuminate the creative lives of the elderly.