Hong Kong gallery brings Giclee prints to India

September 22nd, 2008 - 11:45 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) As art prices spiral beyond the reach of common buyers, dealers are improvising on trade practices and artistic tools to stay afloat. One such attempt is being made by a Hong Kong-based online art gallery that is entering the Indian market with Giclee or ink jet-prints of art works.On Wednesday, the Fuschia Tree tree art gallery will make its debut with a show titled “The Mint Green” at the Attic in Connaught Place in the heart of the national capital.

The show will feature artworks in shades of green because global colour trends suggest that it is the hue of the canvas this season. What sets this show apart is that the gallery will showcase most of the international art in Giclee or digital prints, which are authentic, affordable and exchangeable.

Giclee is one of those improvisations that allow buyers to sample the best in the market without forking out a fortune. Giclee is a French term for squirt.

The printer squirts ink on the canvas, giving it added texture and depth so that the digital image of the artwork stands out. It is a new print technology process.

Many museums have used this technique to make works of classical masters more accessible. Giclee prints are high quality and can look as good as the original from a distance. Connoisseurs say they are a hit as drawing room d├ęcor in Southeast Asian countries.

Explaining the advantages of Giclees as works of quality home accessory art and the Fuschia Tree’s art exchange policy, owner Chanda Chaudhary Barrai said: “A young person can buy a Giclee print and exchange it for an original work later. A young mother can buy a lovely nursery art print today and exchange it for a print of a classical master as her child gets older.”

Giclee as a commercial acquisition proposition is more relevant for corporate buyers, hoteliers and restaurateurs because every time their spaces are refurbished, they can exchange their old Giclee prints of Italian or Chinese art for urban contemporary art, she explained.

“At the Fuschia Tree, we have created a process where a panel of curators chooses an artwork - and this is done on basis of merit. Every curator on board is a senior artist and a keen observer of art technique as well as trends.

“We have faith in their judgement of quality artwork which gave us the courage to bring the first-of-its-kind exchange policy in art trade as well,” Barrai said.

The archival policy of the gallery says prints can be exchanged any time from a year after purchase. The gallery charges 30 percent of the value of the print as usage fee for one year and 15 percent every subsequent year. However, the exchange depreciation is capped at 60 percent.

“Hence, the mother who bought a nursery print for her child for Rs.3,000 can exchange it after five years for an educational print and can still be able to get Rs.1,400 in exchange value,” Barrai said.

The only thing the buyer needs to do is bring the original invoice as well and make sure that the art print is in pristine condition.

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