Gallery of Fine Art Photography - Atlanta GA

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Imogen Cunningham – The Chop

Ideas Without End

When examining Imogen Cunningham Estate prints, one cannot help but notice the Chinese characters that lie to the right of her signature. A chop is an East Asian printing stamp that is used in lieu of a signature made with a pen in some Asian countries. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Imogen_ChopThese stamps can be made of metal, stone, plastic, ivory and so forth and make an indentation on paper when pressure is applied. Imogen’s chop is very special as it was developed by Imogen and designed by Shen Yao, a friend of Imogen’s and a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Hawaii.
The chop is composed of three Chinese characters, Im-o-gen, spelling out “Imogen” phonetically and also translating literally into the phrase “ideas without end.” A fourth character, the customary seal was added. Shen Yao’s role is even more special, Imogen’s granddaughter Meg Partridge 
says, because Imogen knew Shen Yao since the professor was a young girl.

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