Ralph Kiggell, who practices water-based woodblock printing, was visiting artist in the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop in Semester 1 2017. He has a BA in Chinese Studies from SOAS, London University (1983), and an MA in Printmaking from Tama Arts University, Tokyo (1999), for which he received a Japanese Government Scholarship.
Ralph, based in Thailand since 1999, has been a lecturer at Bangkok University, Chulalongkorn University and from April will lecture in printmaking at Chiang Mai University.
Through studying and working as an artist in east Asia in the late 20th century, Kiggell’s career suggests a counter-balance to the globalising of contemporary art toward western traditions and models. Rather than maintaining a western perspective in his art, he has often looked to east Asian traditions of craftsmanship and aesthetics, anticipating early 21st-century cultural shifts. From his studio in Bangkok, much of his work not only draws on the exuberance of tropical nature in Thailand, but also from the tensions of the urban environment. His practice could be said to cross cultures, helping to redefine our understanding of woodblock printing and further evaluate its contemporary significance.
The Printmedia and Drawing Workshop received RSHA Distinguished External Visitor Funding for this program.
Ralph Kiggell, Current (detail), water-based woodblock print, 50 x 31.5 cm, edition of 15
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