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Two Walking, photopolymer and intaglio print, 2010, 59.5 X 39.5cm

Ghosts is a series of prints made to represent Britain at a festival and exhibition in Korea, in September 2011, to celebrate the millennial anniversary of the first Tripitaka Koreana. 

The Tripitaka are the Korean collection of 80 000 Buddhist scriptures, carved onto 81, 340 wooden printing blocks. The original set took 77 years to complete and was finished in 1087. However, it was destroyed in 1232 by a Mongol invasion. King Kojong ordered the set remade, and work began in 1236. It was felt that replacing the wood blocks would convince Buddha to intervene and help repel the Mongolian invaders. Originally carved on Kangwha Island, they were moved to Haein-sa Temple during the early years of the Yi dynasty in the late 14th century.

The blocks were carved by monks using wood from silver magnolias, white birches, and cherry trees from Korea’s southern coast.  They soaked the wood in salt water for three years before cutting the individual blocks.  Each section was boiled in salt water then dried before being planed and carved.

The blocks are stored in four storage halls in the northern side of the Haein-sa temple.  The foundations are reinforced with charcoal, lime, and clay to help maintain a constant temperature and control humidity.

When they were made, relief-printing from carved wooden blocks was the most progressive and efficient way of duplicating text. As well as celebrating the history of the ancient blocks, the Tripitaka Festival celebrated the technological and expressive advances made in print, internationally, during the thousand years following the production of the Tripitaka.  To this purpose, 72 artists were invited from 42 countries to produce artworks on the theme of “the mind” for exhibition during the festival.  Artists were invited to interpret this theme in the broadest possible way.  Prints, book art and installations were part of the 130 pieces in the exhibition. Bill Viola, Sonam Dolna, Blake Carrington and Zu Bing are among the artists invited to make work during the festival.  Ganter was invited to represent the United Kingdom.

As in the series, Forms of Being, that precede Ghosts, these images play with the nature of photographic reality and representation by photographing models of figures silhouetted and lit so that they appear from behind translucent veils of fabric that hang parallel to the picture plane. Richard Noyce, writing in the catalogue for the exhibition, Forms of Being, states: 

"The work of Jo Ganter shows that she understands very well and manipulates with skill the problem of the picture plane - that flat surface with little actual depth that must imply the apparent spaces behind and in front of it. Her understanding of photography and its peculiar ability to delineate spaces and denote the flow of time, and indeed her incorporation of photography within the printmaking processes, offer another possibility - that of implying something that might actually be there, but could equally well be a fugitive shadow."

Ganter's exploration into the possibilities of photography continue in the print Duskman, and the large triptych that includes, Duskman, Dawn, and Walking Man.

Dusk Man, photopolymer intaglio print, 55 X 35cm

This series of work was made in America during a residency at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The model of the sitting man was photographed against a sunset reflecting off the deep snow outside. The colour is hinted at in the small print above and in the large photographic print below. 

Dusk Man, archival inkjet print, 148 X 92cm                   Dawn, archival inkjet print, 148 X 93cm

Walking Througharchival inkjet print, 148 X 92cm            

This series of work was featured at Cracow Print Triennial, 2012, where it won the Canson Polska Award. 

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