Screen Printing: The Art of the Human Touch

Tucked away in a corner of the Festival Lounge is a screen printing station packed with energetic participants waiting to create their one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Hong Kong artist, illustrator, and printmaker Kinchoi Lam is running a daily screen printing workshop during the ‘Asian Avant-Garde Film Festival’ (AAGFF), providing an interactive art experience for all ages. Festival goers can customise their personal souvenir by applying the festival’s graphic identity to posters, t-shirts, and tote bags. 

Souvenir posters made in the screen printing workshop led by Kinchoi Lam, 2024. Photo: Annabel Preston

Screen printing involves pushing ink through a stencilled mesh screen onto a surface to imprint a design. One can print with a single colour, a mixed colour, or multiple layers of colour. By inviting lounge visitors to make their own work, Lam engages them in the artistic process, unleashing their creativity in the mix-and-match process. With the limited stencils provided onsite, participants still displayed their limitless creativity. ‘I saw visitors having fun discovering various effects, such as overlapping different ink colours onto the print,’ Lam recounts with much enthusiasm. ‘Even when ink was accidentally dropped onto the paper, the participant incorporated the ‘mistake’ as part of the patterns by hand’. For Lam, the rules of screen printing may be simple, but in the hands of different people, each work becomes incredibly personal. This explains his appreciation for the human touch in all art mediums.

Lam demonstrates how to make a screen print, 2024. Photo: Annabel Preston

Lam’s works are characterised by wonder and intimacy, taking from aspects of daily life to explore the diversity and beauty in the world. In the current fast-paced world in which most print productions are done by machines, he would rather take it slow and fully experience making a print by hand.  He finds resonance in such an appreciation for the analogue in the AAGFF programme and is happy to celebrate creativity in a cross-disciplinary manner at the festival. 

Kinchoi Lam holds a daily screen printing workshop at the Festival Lounge.

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