Dragon, 3 Candarins
Paper Type: Rives Lightweight Buff, 115 gm/m2
Paper Size: 10" x 13"
Image Size: 4" x 5"
Edition Size: 50
Inks used: Van Son Rubber Based Inks
I have been cutting linoleum block print designs of classic postage stamps for about twelve years now. From the beginning I have presented these replicas with a copy of the genuine stamp collaged just below the block as a way to demonstrate what these replicas are all about. I wanted these block prints to be affordable, and made a rule that no stamp design could feature stamps worth more than a dollar. I loved the classic Chinese stamps from 1878, but they were not suitable choices for my block prints.
I obtain most of my stamps at online auctions, and Chinese stamps became highly collectible about ten years ago. A few genuine stamps were sold for hundreds of dollars, but most of what I saw were fakes offered mostly at fractions of the price of genuine specimens. Buyers were outraged when they discovered the fraud, and eBay responded with policies that obliged sellers to mark replicas as such and strong penalties for those who did not. The asking price for these replicas plummeted, eventually bringing the cost down into my range. The cheapest of these replicas are halftone reproductions, but they serve my purpose quite well, showing that the design is in fact a postage stamp issued by a sovereign nation to certify postage paid. The stamp collaged to the print is a replica.
The dragon designs are a great favorite with Eastern and Western audiences alike. The dragon is presented in classic form peering directly at the viewer, with sky and land images relegated to the periphery. The central iconic dragon itself is whimsical, even comical in aspect, a demon to be honored but not really feared.