» Exhibitions » Roland Ultra's Backstage
Roland Ultra's Backstage
from January 2012 to January 2013
Roland Ultra, the imposing printing machine - an important presence in all Assab One events and exhibitions since the beginning - has been disassembled and shipped to India where it was reassembled and once again put into function.

Roland Ultra was originally shipped from Germany to GEA (Grafiche Editoriali Ambrosiane) in via Assab 1, Milan in 1969 as a gleaming new printing machine. It was at GEA that for over 30 years, Roland Ultra printed art books, encyclopedias and school texts for renowned international publishers. With its sturdy mechanism Roland Ultra would have continued to perform impeccable printing work for a long time, however, like many machines of its generation, it eventually stopped being able to  provide competitive options in the world of printed paper – the printing sector being in decline. India, on the other hand, still enjoys a flourishing market in offset printing, with Roland or Heidelberg machines being considered the Rolls Royces of printing equipment. A boost in this field in recent years has triggered the emergence of skilled technicians for the maintenance, set-up and repair of these machines. In India printing with these machines has been profitable and entrepreneurs have developed a successful market for their use.

Roland Ultra left Assab One at the beginning of February 2012. After a long journey over land and sea, plus many vicissitudes - bureaucratic and otherwise - it reached its new home at the end of April: Starpackers, a beautiful box factory in the town of Manmad, in Nashik district, in Maharashtra. Here Roland Ultra was unloaded from the two containers by ancient means, thanks to the expertise of a tight team of men accustomed to hard physical work and it was restarted, with great satisfaction of both old and new owners.

The Journey of Roland Ultra is being followed and documented through a number of projects, among which a photographic project by Giovanni Hänninen and a book of drawings by Nathalie Du Pasquier.  Many friends and supporters have been following Roland Ultra’s adventures on the Assab One website.

The amateur video you see here is only the back stage of a brief moment during the arrival at destination.

Roland Ultra's Journey - The Exhibition

Roland Ultra's Journey - finissage

A Journey for Roland Ultra - video

100 photos for 100 friends


Roland Ultra 2002-2012
Friends of Roland Ultra
Disassembly and Loading
Milano-Manmad: transport of the containers
Manmad. The unloading of the containers
StarPackers and surroundings
Milano-Manmad round trip

Travel Diary:

A journey for Roland Ultra
Nathalie Du Pasquier, 2012