Kate Downie

Following my first visit to Beijing in the autumn of 2010, I created this small series of paper works based on a series of city routes in both the new and the more traditional areas. The spatial nature of concrete and glass of the newer Beijing as seen from a taxi is a world so familiar to the travellers of this city as to be almost an invisible theatre; likewise the cycle or pedestrian meanders within the Hutongs.  On my return to the very different cities of my native country, I made these new mixed media monotypes for the Concrete Hour.

By combining monotype, a form of dry-point etching and a printmaking collage technique, I attempt to recapture and distil those sensations of fear, excitement and wonder which I felt in these travels. Always fascinated by the ‘unlikely-ness’ of buildings, I think these layering techniques in printmaking terms echo the various patterns of construction.

Ambivalence is the default state of most artists, and uncertainties about societal models of living abound with all fast developing cities. If there is an outward ruthlessness about the ‘business’ Beijing, I find it perhaps hides a gentle and hospitable interior. By constructing these unique prints and bringing them to life between Shique Hutong and Gaomao junctions, it is my hope to share both the concerns and the intimacies of community.