Tian Gan | Printmaking & Design
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Tian Gan's Printmaking Blog

Tian Gan's design and printmaking blog. The Stockholm-based artist writes about her work process.

Zebra under the Bridge

Upon discovering the dramatic looking stairs and graffiti-covered walls under St Eriksbron, I've decided this small bit of Stockholm deserves a print of its own. I knew it was to be a big black-and-white print (like the tiger on Urvädersgränd) - what caught my eye first was the texture of the concrete, and then, the enormous structure in shadow in contrast with the bright sky. 

I thought the zebra would be the perfect animal for this scene, just to push myself further in terms of different lines and textures. So I dug out photos I took of the zebras at Kolmården last year and started working. 

Carving the block (30 x 45 cm) took three weeks; despite being a one-block black-and-white, this turned out to be the most labor-intensive print I've ever made with all the bits and pieces. The constant visualizing and decision making also add to the intensity (and the fun!),

I used the Dremel tool I got as Christmas present last year to clear out a lot of the sky; with the first test proof (left one below) I wanted to see how the sanded texture would look would work with the lines on the stairs. In the end I carved away all the sky - the open part on the right bring out the stairs even more and the whole print just look much more dramatic. 

I also tweaked a lot of small things - marked on the text print with post-it's as you can see. At this point I also like to take a couple of days away from the print and see how I feel about the way things are. 

So here's the final print, which I'm calling St Eriksbron, is a limited edition of 20 prints on Hosho paper, each signed and numbered at the bottom. The print measures 30 x 45 cm, and the paper 40 x 55 cm. You can find the print in the shop