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We’re Not the Only Ones Concerned with Definitions

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An Invitation from the International Print Biennial of Seoul, Korea

This invitation to participate in a print-definition survey arrived this morning by email. I find it relevant to our own discussion, and interesting that it should come from Korea. So I’m posting it here, both the introductory email and the questionnaire, should anyone like to fill it out and send it back to them.

Dear Sir / Ma’am

SPACE International Print Biennial_Seoul, KOREA would like to request you to be a respondent for the following questionnaire for the symposium of the 15th SPACE International Print Biennial_Seoul.

The subject of this symposium is “ORIGINAL print, is the conception still valid?”

It aims to promote international understanding and interest in the roles and boundaries of PRINT in this 21st century, the era of digital images.

The questionnaire which you respond to will be made use in the aforementioned international print symposium to be held in Seoul Museum of Art in April 8(Wed.), 2009 as a valuable data to help people understand the present situation of an “ORIGINAL print”.


Please answer to the attached questionnaire until February 21st by E-MAIL or FAX(write down “to Ko, Sun-jung the Researcher”).

Appreciating your spending time, we’ll let you have the result of questionnaire later.


Also, the entry acceptance is going on till March 13th.

We look forward to many gifted artists’ interest and participation.

Thank you very much and take care.

Best wishes,


The 15th SPACE International Print Biennial_Seoul

Tel: +82-2-3670-3634 / Fax: +82-2-747-2894

E-mail: master@spaceprintbiennial.org

Official website: www.spaceprintbiennial.org

And Here’s the Questionnaire

The 15th SPACE International Print Biennial_Seoul

We’d like to request you to be a respondent for the following questionnaire

for the symposium of the 15th SPACE International Print Biennial_Seoul.

The Intent of the Questionnaire

SPACE International Print Biennial, launched in 1980 as an international mini print biennial, has produced many great printmaking artists worldwide. To celebrate the 30th year of this biennial, in 2009, SPACE GROUP is going to hold a symposium accompanying the biennial. The subject of this symposium is “ORIGINAL print, is the conception still valid?” It aims to promote international understanding and interest in the roles and boundaries of PRINT in this 21st century, the era of digital iamges. In present times when digital images are replacing traditional pictorial images more and more, is the definition of an ORIGINAL print, which has been generally(customarily) agreed, still available? Or is it already forgotten, and has become meaningless a long time ago? It will be meaningful to discuss such an issue in this symposium at this point of time.

The “definition of an ORIGINAL print” was publicly announced by the Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques(Painters, Sculptors and Engravers), an affiliate of UNESCO, in 1963 (please refer to the attachment). This questionnaire is based on this definition. This questionnaire is distributed to printmaking artists, critics, and curators, who are playing an active role in printmaking in the countries of the world. You are one of them, and the questionnaire which you respond to will be made use in the aforementioned international print symposium to be held in Seoul Museum of Art in April 8 (Wed.), 2009 as a valuable data to help people understand the present situation of an “ORIGINAL print”. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Questionnaire >

1. Do you know the “definition of an ORIGINAL print”(attached to this email) which was announced publicly by the Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques(Painters, Sculptors and Engravers), an affiliate of UNESCO, in 1963?

1) Yes, I know it well. (  )   2) No, I was not aware of it. (  )   3) I’ve heard of it before. (  )

2. Do you think this definition is still valid in your country?

1) Yes, it currently is. (  )

2) No, it’s been a long time since it has become invalid. (  )

3) Part of it is valid. (  )

3. As you see in the definition above, the standard of value about originality has been valid in a print distinctively from the other genre of fine art. Do you think such a standard of value should be commonly available hereafter?

1) Yes, it should. (  )   2) It should be partly available. (  )   3) It is no more available. (  )

4. If you think it is no more available, what is the reason?

1) Having a fixed standard of value is meaningless because the conception and categories of art change with the times. (  )

2) It is meaningless because the standard for judging “if a print is original or reproduced” is related to the intention of artist. (  )

3) If multiple production, using new-media techniques such as a digital image, is included in the conception of a print, the standard of value about originality is no more available today. (  )

5. Regarding a print, what do you think of a digital image and a new-media image?

1) Those should be considered separately from the conception of a print. (  )

2) Those can be included in the category of a print in some restricted conditions. (  )

3) Those should be accepted without any restriction. (  )

6. If your answer is 2) or 3) in question # 5 above, “how” do you think such new-media techniques should be accepted with regard to a print?

1) It should be included in the category of an ORIGINAL print with the condition that the number of produced copies is limited. (  )

2) The traditional conception of a print should be re-established now. (  )

3) Having a restriction is unnecessary as the aesthetic, sociological, and technical conception of a print has expanded. (  )

7. Please briefly state what the general standard of an ORIGINAL print in your country is.

(                                                                                  )

8. What is your nationality? (                           )

9. What is your age range (20s/ 30s/ 40s/ 50s, etc.)? (                                )

10. What is your area of occupation (e.g.> artist/ curator/ critic/ others)? (          )

We deeply appreciate your answers.

The 15th SPACE International Print Biennial_Seoul

Address: 219, Wonseo-dong Jongno-Gu SEOUL 110-280 KOREA

Tel: +82-2-3670-3634 / Fax: +82-2-747-2894

E-mail: master@spaceprintbiennial.org / Official website: www.spaceprintbiennial.org

Written by Michael Booth

February 5, 2009 at 9:45 am

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