24 July 2018

A Chess Board Is a Stage

'♫ We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave ♫' • I've already used that lead on my chess960 blog -- see DGT960 Chess Clock (July 2010) -- where I embedded a video to avoid having to do too much work. Eight years later, in similar circumstances, let's have some caissart.

Last month, in An NN for Chess Images (June 2018), I started to analyze my archive of chess images. One of the by-products of that analysis was to catalog series of related images. For example, here is a subset of 12 related images that appeared on eBay in 2006.

The description said,

Game of Chess, Set of Drawings, Mixed Media • They all are pen and ink and black tea drawings on handmade paper. This collection of drawings is a result of my fascination by the game itself, its history. It is also a result of my love of history, art and literature and resentment to any war. This large body of work is constantly growing, despite of the fact that many of the drawings were sold during the years.

Chess is more than a game. A chess board resembles a stage. Chess pieces are symbolic of medieval royal court and army. Performances are played by certain rules. The game is so ancient, it possesses philosophical, poetic, and theatrical qualities.

Each drawing represents, not illustrates, a certain chess rule. "At all stages the player should plan ahead." "Two armies are mirror images of one another." [...]

The technique of drawing with black tea as a water based color is unique. It gives all shades of rich gold and brown I was looking for this project. This set was originally intended to be for a library or a study. The works are framed with this in mind.

The technique is archival. Several pieces from this set were published in a Naked Punch edition (London, 2006), with an anti-war article.

The 'plan ahead' rule is shown in the bottom right image. The drawings are all signed 'M.K.', but my notes don't identify the artist any further. Perhaps Naked Punch has further information.

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