Wordless books brought into focus struggles of Chinese people in 1930s, form backdrop of Plymouth exhibition

September 27th, 2013 by Lynn

    ON VIEW: Frans Masereel's woodcuts are on view at Plymouth State University's Lamson Library this fall.

    More than artistic expression, woodcut works were wordless books that brought into sharp detail social ills of earlier times, including the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese people in the 1930s.

    Highlighting that later chapter of the art form, works from the folio “Woodcuts of New China” and Frans Masereel’s folio “China Memories” are on view at Lamson Library on Highland Street at Plymouth State University Monday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Dec. 20.

    David A. Berona, curator and dean of library and academic support services at PSU, said the showing revisits an invitation the Chinese People’s Association for Foreign Cultural Relations extended to Masereel, a Belgian artist and pioneer of the woodcut novel, to China in 1958.

    Woodcut novels focused on the social ills in Europe during the early 20th century. During his visit, Masereel discovered that his woodcut novels, not bound by a language barrier, had been widely distributed across China. Along with the influence of the great writer, Lu Xun, Masereel’s woodcuts reflected and informed sentiment. This Expressionist style evolved into woodcuts of the mid-20th century that displayed more traditional styles and promoted the ideals of the Chinese Communist Party.

    The Chinese woodcuts in this exhibition display examples from this later period and Masereel’s impressions of the Chinese people and countryside following his stay there.

    Berona authored the introduction to the latest edition of Masereel’s “Passionate Journey: A Vision in Woodcuts,” published by Dover Publications. Berona also authored “Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels.”

    “ The themes in these wordless books show a powerful relevance to our world today, the significance of wordless stories, and the growing importance of visual narratives in all cultures — both Western and Eastern,” Berona said of artists such as Masereel, Lynd Ward and Otto Nuckel.

    Beronä will give a gallery lecture at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in conjunction with “Adventures in Chinese Culture,” a lecture series complementing an exhibition of paintings by Chinese brush artist Yang Jukui at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery on campus.

    PSU hosting student art and poetry exhibition

    April 12th, 2012 by Michael

      Lamson Library art exhibit features PSU professor

      December 24th, 2010 by Raluca Tarcea

        Featured in Plymouth Magazine

        Example Image

        Seeing Further: Into the North Country

          The Lancaster Project, an integrated cluster initiative that uses a multidisciplinary approach, focuses on bringing more life to the small business community on Main Street, particularly the historical Lancaster National Bank building, in Lancaster, New Hampshire. The project capitalizes on the varied knowledge of 60 students from 10 different academic majors. Collaborative groups work […]

        Example Image

        Cracking the Glass Ceiling in Athletics Administration 

        When alumna Kim Bownes ’07G was named Director of Athletics in January, she added another crack to a glass ceiling in collegiate athletics. She joined the group of women leading National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III athletics departments who make up just 29 percent of DIII athletics directors, according to the 2016 report by […]

        Example Image

        Ut Prosim: A Cultural Exchange in Jamaica

        On Sunday, January 8, six Plymouth State students and their instructor, Jessica Dutille ’03, ’04G, boarded a plane bound for Jamaica, leaving the remnants of a snowstorm behind them in favor of a week of sun and 80-degree weather. But this was no vacation. This was a service-learning trip in which Dutille, an instructor in […]