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Ten short films about ten world class artists at work in their studios--bringing contemporary Chinese ink painting to life. Read more

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This project's funding goal was not reached on April 10, 2013.

Ten short films about ten world class artists at work in their studios--bringing contemporary Chinese ink painting to life.

About this project

Xu Bing painting a Landscript (a landscape painted using Chinese characters). "Enduring Passion" shows ten great artists at work in their studios. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Xu Bing painting a Landscript (a landscape painted using Chinese characters). "Enduring Passion" shows ten great artists at work in their studios. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)

What is the point of The Enduring Passion for Ink?

The Enduring Passion for Ink will make contemporary Chinese ink painting accessible to a wide audience. When I began working on this project I had no idea that contemporary Chinese ink would become the hot topic it is today. Last year the British Museum showed contemporary Chinese ink, and later this year the Metropolitan Museum will do so. Christie's and Sotheby's are holding private sale exhibitions of contemporary Chinese ink in New York this month (March). I have worked on some of these exhibitions, and they go far to introduce the topic. But film can do so much more to bring ink painting to life! 

Undeterred by the film crew, Liu Dan works on a landscape. I am honored and grateful that the artists allowed us the privilege of observing their creative process. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Undeterred by the film crew, Liu Dan works on a landscape. I am honored and grateful that the artists allowed us the privilege of observing their creative process. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)

What is the format of The Enduring Passion for Ink?

“The Enduring Passion for Ink: Films on Contemporary Ink Painters” consists of ten films, each about 12 minutes long. They introduce the work of ten artists, and address their fundamental artistic choices: Why did s/he choose ink as a medium? How is ink’s expressive range distinct from that of other artistic media? How does the artist go about creating an ink work? How does the artist approach issues such as tradition, creative innovation, and personal expression? Each film will feature the artist addressing these questions and show him or her at work in the studio in the process of creating a work of art. Through time-lapsed photography, the film will also show that same painting’s evolution from start to finish.

Huang Bingyi showing one of her monumental paintings. Ink is a versatile medium, and "Endless Passion" includes artists working in a wide range of styles. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi showing one of her monumental paintings. Ink is a versatile medium, and "Endless Passion" includes artists working in a wide range of styles. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)

Film provides a time-based experience of a time-based process

With film you can see how the paintings are created, and hear the artists talk about their inspirations and processes: film can make the experience much richer, and much more accessible. Plus, for those who already know something about ink painting, the films provide an enhanced appreciation of the activity of ink painting, and may raise or answer questions previously off the radar. Ultimately, listening to the artists, watching them paint, and contemplating their finished works of art, It becomes apparent that ink painting, with its long history and profound philosophies, has much to offer to the present day.

Cui Zhenkuan's brush touches the paper. Each film includes details of the artist's process. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Cui Zhenkuan's brush touches the paper. Each film includes details of the artist's process. (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)

Is that all? . . .

The film series is a stand-alone project. But I plan to write a book that will  enlarge on the perspective offered by the film series. To this end, I brought a talented photographer along on the film shoots, to document the artists at work, their materials and techniques, their fascinating studios, and their paintings: I have thousands of wonderful photographs to choose from for the book. In addition, I have hours and hours of interviews that (obviously) cannot all fit into the short films, but that will make enthralling reading when selectively transcribed and translated for the book. Finally, the book will investigate the deep links between contemporary Chinese ink painting and ink painting of the past. This is something that could not be accomplished in the films (although the films set the stage for this, as the artists talk about the sources), and it will render the book invaluable for people interested in ink painting at all levels.

Funding goals

Basic Goal $35,000: This will cover editing the films.

#1 Stretch Goal $45,000: Music makes a big difference in the viewing experience. With this level of funding we could purchase rights and/or commission music closely tailored to the artists' different personal styles. In addition, there would be funding for a higher level of color correction / tweaking.

#2 Stretch Goal $60,000: With the additional funding, I can have a terrific professional translator translate the interview texts for the book.

#3 Stretch Goal $75,000: Funds to travel to promote the films--to make sure they get the wide international audience they deserve!

Please see the FAQ way down at the bottom of this for information on a tax-deductible funding option.

But I want to know more, you think!

You can follow The Endless Passion for Ink on Facebook. Many more photographs are posted there, in this album: Artists in Action, Film Crew in Action

If anyone has questions about the Enduring Passion for Ink that are not answered on this website, please feel free to contact me at erickson.britta@gmail.com

Time to ask, if I help support this fabulous project, what are the giveaways?

Of course, if you contribute to Endless Passion, you will have that wonderful glowing feeling you get when you know you are taking part in a good project. But you can also wind up with some very very special things. With some of the artists, I have never before seen any kind of non-art item printed with their art (except for books and museum publicity)! 

With ten great artists wanting to support this project by allowing me to print their art on giveaways, it was hard to know when to stop designing things! I know I want to have all of these myself! Photos of most of the available giveaways are below, and there are more photos on Facebook, including here: Endless Passion Kickstarter Giveaways

Liu Dan "Ask the Rock" Tee-shirt (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Liu Dan "Ask the Rock" Tee-shirt (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Zheng Chongbin Silk Scarf (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Zheng Chongbin Silk Scarf (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Li Jin Fish Kitchen Towel (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Li Jin Fish Kitchen Towel (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Li Jin Banquet Kitchen Towel (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Li Jin Banquet Kitchen Towel (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Li Jin Food and Calligraphy Kitchen Towel (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Li Jin Food and Calligraphy Kitchen Towel (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi Computer Skin (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi Computer Skin (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Wang Dongling "Moyong" Tote Bag (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Wang Dongling "Moyong" Tote Bag (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi "Fuchun" Detail Notecard (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi "Fuchun" Detail Notecard (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi "Fuchun" Detail Notecard (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi "Fuchun" Detail Notecard (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Yang Jiechang "Stranger Than Paradise" Pig and Dog Tee-shirt (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Yang Jiechang "Stranger Than Paradise" Pig and Dog Tee-shirt (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi "Fairy" Laptop Sleeve (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)
Huang Bingyi "Fairy" Laptop Sleeve (Photo copyright ©2012 Britta Erickson)

Risks and challenges

The filming for all ten films is completed. That is the logistically hard part--finding a top cinematographer, convincing great artists to agree to participate, and getting a film crew to their studios on a day when they can paint. (Twice we had to postpone filming at the last minute, because the artists had back problems: ink painting can be physically demanding!) What remains is editing, translating and adding subtitles (so that anyone who is either English or Chinese literate can understand), adding music (so far we have just temporary music), final processing, and producing the VCD and packaging. To complete this second stage--the part that comes once the filming is complete--is not logistically challenging. It is only financially challenging! Hence the Kickstarter campaign.

Should funding extend to the book intended to accompany the films--and I hope it will--the challenges are minimal. The photographs and interviews for the book are complete. All that remains is to write it. As the author of three books and numerous articles about Chinese art, I have a great deal of experience writing, and am confident I can write a terrific book on contemporary ink painting: I feel energized and ready to go! (See my LinkedIn profile for details of my past publishing.)

LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/pub/britta-erickson/4a/a21/34b

Many thanks for helping make this project come to life!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Because several people have offered to make sizable contributions, but want them to be tax deductible, I have set up a way to do that. This means I probably won't successfully fund my Kickstarter campaign, but I will successfully fund the films--which is the goal!

    I now have a fiscal agent to accept funds designated for my film project as a non-profit: the Society for the Advancement of the Arts & Film. Any check sent to them earmarked for the "Enduring Passion for Ink" OR "Britta Erickson" will receive acknowledgement from them as tax deductible.

    Society for the Advancement of the Arts & Film: attn Enduring Passion for Ink
    P.O. Box 303
    Glen Ellen, CA 95442

    And the extra wonderful thing about this is that the founder of SAAF also runs the Wine Country Film Festival & Santa Rosa Int. Film Festival, and is interested in including my films in their September film festival, In Kino Veritas. I'm so excited to think a film expert considers them that good! Wine and art, the perfect combination.

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Rewards

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    $1 reward

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    Good wishes and thanks for supporting the project!

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    $10 reward

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    "Enduring Passion" sticker surprise. Not sure yet what these stickers will look like. Something good! Put it on your laptop, a notebook, whatever!

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    $15 reward

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    "Enduring Passion" button surprise. A fun ornament to pin on your jacket, your bag, your whatever. Not sure yet what the design will be -- so far, a surprise!

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    $30 reward

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    Set of five notecards with paintings by Huang Bingyi: some details of huge abstract ink creations, and others painted with delicately rendered strange creatures she calls fairies.

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    $40 reward

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    Canvas tote bag printed with 墨咏 ("Ode to Ink"), written by China's greatest exponent of experimental calligraphy, Wang Dongling. This is the Chinese title for the "Enduring Passion for Ink."

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    $45 reward

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    Early Bird: "Ask the Rock": Tee-shirt printed with a Liu Dan rock. What a rare item -- even the idea of a Tee-shirt with a Liu Dan painting is hard to fathom. Probably he has never worn a Tee-shirt himself, but he wants to support this project! (I will ask for size after the project funds.)

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    Early Bird: "Stranger Than Paradise": Tee-shirt printed with a dog and pig from Yang Jiechang's "Stranger Than Paradise" project. You can see more wild scenes from this series on his website www.yangjiechang.com (go to artworks-painting-1989 to today-10 to 18). (I will ask for size after the project funds.)

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    $45 reward

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    Fish on a Dish painting by international gourmande (and much in-demand painter) Li Jin. These turned out quite expensive to have printed, perhaps because so few places print high quality cotton kitchen towels. But these are gorgeous, so I couldn't resist including them here. You could use them for place mats, or just hang them in the kitchen and enjoy their gorgeousness.

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    Banquet painting by international gourmande (and much in-demand painter) Li Jin. These turned out quite expensive to have printed, perhaps because so few places print high quality cotton kitchen towels. But these are gorgeous, so I couldn't resist including them here. You could use them for place mats, or just hang them in the kitchen and enjoy their gorgeousness.

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    Food and Calligraphy painting by international gourmande (and much in-demand painter) Li Jin. These turned out quite expensive to have printed, perhaps because so few places print high quality cotton kitchen towels. But these are gorgeous, so I couldn't resist including them here. You could use them for place mats, or just hang them in the kitchen and enjoy their gorgeousness.

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    $55 reward

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    "Ask the Rock": Tee-shirt printed with a Liu Dan rock. What a rare item -- even the idea of a Tee-shirt with a Liu Dan painting is hard to fathom. Probably he has never worn a Tee-shirt himself, but he wants to support this project! (I will ask for size after the project funds.)

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  • You selected
    $55 reward

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    "Stranger Than Paradise": Tee-shirt printed with a dog and pig from Yang Jiechang's "Stranger Than Paradise" project. You can see more wild scenes from this series on his website www.yangjiechang.com (go to artworks-painting-1989 to today-10 to 18). (I will ask for size after the project funds.)

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    $90 reward

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    Laptop skin printed with a detail of a large fine line (gongbi) painting by Bingyi. You can specify your laptop model and they will print the appropriate size. They stick on firmly but can be peeled off easily. Like the kitchen towels, these turned out to be expensive to make, but I couldn't resist.

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    $95 reward

    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    Early Bird: Silk charmeuse scarf printed with Liu Dan's rock. A super rare opportunity! I've never seen or even imagined anything at all printed with a Liu Dan painting. The scarves are fabulous! 36 x 36" / 90 x 90 cm.

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    $100 reward

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    Early Bird: Set of three amazing kitchen towels with paintings of food by international gourmande (and much in-demand painter) Li Jin. These turned out quite expensive to have printed, perhaps because so few places print high quality cotton kitchen towels. But these are gorgeous, so I couldn't resist including them here. You could use them for place mats, or just hang them in the kitchen and enjoy their gorgeousness.

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    $120 reward

    1 backer

    Set of three amazing kitchen towels with paintings of food by international gourmande (and much in-demand painter) Li Jin. These turned out quite expensive to have printed, perhaps because so few places print high quality cotton kitchen towels. But these are gorgeous, so I couldn't resist including them here. You could use them for place mats, or just hang them in the kitchen and enjoy their gorgeousness.

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    Silk charmeuse scarf printed with Liu Dan's rock. A super rare opportunity! I've never seen or even imagined anything at all printed with a Liu Dan painting. The scarves are fabulous! 36 x 36" / 90 x 90 cm.

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    Silk charmeuse scarf printed with Zheng Chongbin's painting, "Two Sides No. 2" from 2011. This looks great folded and draped, with endlessly fascinating details! You could even use it as a super-deluxe package wrap. Or get two and make a blouse (think I might do that!). 36 x 36" / 90 x 90 cm.

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    Silk chiffon scarf printed with Liu Dan's rock. Same as the silk charmeuse scarf, but ethereal. This brings to life the whole cloud-rock idea. 36 x 36" / 90 x 90 cm.

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    Silk chiffon scarf printed with Zheng Chongbin's painting, "Two Sides No. 2" from 2011. Drape around your shoulders, wear around your neck, or tie up you hair. Men care wear it too. 36 x 36" / 90 x 90 cm.

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    $150 reward

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    Really wonderful laptop sleeve printed with one of Bingyi's most fabulous fairies, or strange creatures. She paints these on fan shaped paper, hence the lovely shape centered on the sleeve. Comes in Netbook or Notebook/Laptop size. When the Kickstarter campaign is funded, I will ask which you would like. These are very sturdy and well-made. (I have gone for the best quality of everything in designing the giveaways, so some are quite expensive. But this is your only chance, and it is for the support of these great films!)

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    $1,000 reward

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    Set of the 10 completed films. Need I say more?

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    $1,500 reward

    1 backer

    Set of the ten completed films, plus your choice of any 5 giveaways. The giveaways will be delivered in May.

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    $5,000 reward

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    I have put $5000 in the "Pledge amount" box, since Kickstarter requires a particular amount, but the award is for the top six contributors.

    Best of all: The top six contributors (whether through Kickstarter or otherwise) to the "Enduring Passion for Ink" will have their names mentioned in the film credits. In addition the top contributors will be invited to an opening at which the films appear (assuming there is such an opening, and I certainly think there will be!). (This invitation will not include any expenses associated with attending the event, such as airfare, hotels, etc.)

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  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers

    I have put $10,000 in the "Pledge amount" box, since Kickstarter requires a particular amount, but the award is for the top six contributors. Best of all: The top six contributors (whether through Kickstarter or otherwise) to the "Enduring Passion for Ink" will have their names mentioned in the film credits. In addition the top contributors will be invited to an opening at which the films appear (assuming there is such an opening, and I certainly think there will be!). (This invitation will not include any expenses associated with attending the event, such as airfare, hotels, etc.) Best of all: The top six contributors (whether through Kickstarter or otherwise) to the "Enduring Passion for Ink" will have their names mentioned in the film credits. In addition the top contributors will be invited to an opening at which the films appear (assuming there is such an opening, and I certainly think there will be!). (This invitation will not include any expenses associated with attending the event, such as airfare, hotels, etc.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)