Gallery of prints for sale

Saturday 27 April 2024

Tchao Yen-Nien, “La Course Contre le Temps”, c.1954

Tchao Yen-Nien (aka Zhao Yannian; 赵延年; Yen-nien Chao; Dshau Jän-njän) (1924–2014)—an influential printmaker in China for his “innovative use of cutting and printing techniques” (see

“La Course Contre le Temps” (The Race Against Time), c.1954, an original woodcut in two colours published in Peking (now Beijing) in 1956 by Éditions en Langues Étrangères (Foreign Languages Press) (fl.1952–) as plate 37 to the folio of 40 original woodcuts printed in the People’s Republic of China, “Gravures sur Bois de la Chine Nouvelle.” Note that this print was featured in the second National Exhibition of Fine Arts (China) in 1955 and was chosen from this exhibition for its inclusion in the 1956 folio of prints representing the achievements of “la Chine Nouvelle” (the new China).

Woodcut in two colours (olive and brown-black) printed on fine cream wove paper (China) with full margins and printed title as published.

Size: (sheet) 34.8 x 25 cm; (image borderline) 25.2 x 17.1 cm.

Dated vertically in plate at lower left, “1954 […]”.

Lettered below the image: (centre) “37. La course contre le temps  Tchao Yen-nien”.

Condition: a strong and well-printed (near faultless) impression in a pristine condition.

I am selling this superb two-colour woodcut designed to showcase the industrial advances in China in the mid-1950s—mindful that the artist belonged to the “All China Association of Anti-Enemy Woodcut Artists” and the folio in which this print features was published by a press that was later “owned and controlled by the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party” (—for AU$174 in total (currently US $113.71/EUR 106.29/GBP 91.01 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this powerful image of industry in the erection of a tower block that has (at least to my eyes) resonance with similar images of construction by the almost legendary, Frank Brangwyn (1867–1956)—see, for example, “Building the Victoria and Albert Museum”, 1904 (, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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