Archive for January, 2009

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New Year : New Destination : New Hope

In 2009, hunting a proper design job is no longer my unique destination for survival.

I have planned some creative book projects for the new year. All of these book projects aim to push the boundary between traditional book arts and commercial book design. Up till now, from my observation, book arts and book design are still two totally different professionals. On the one hand, book artists always concentrate on craftsmanship of traditional bookbinding and book making in a fine art approach. Some often ignore the contemporary aesthetic sense on editorial layout design. On the other hand, book designers only focus on the graphical practice on pages in front of computers, but pay no attention on the physical book form. In this digital age, it should be the time to gather both advantages of art and design in order to create a new form of book arts.

The other important objective is to make use of the creative projects to promote book art & design and let more people know what it is. At least, I would like to make the public understand the role of being a book artist. Few people understand what we are doing. They often ask what a book artist does. Is that book cover/ jacket design? Are you illustrator? Truly, we are no difference with other fine artists, painters, or sculptors; the only difference is that our art is presented through a media of book format.

The book works I will undertake:

1) Artist books based on cultural diversity
A book can be viewed as a medium of reflecting different cultures in this ever-changing world. An assembly of binding, structure, form, materials, printing, and layout design plays a vital role in producing an extraordinary book. A range of books would be designed, made or published with concepts from exciting cultures. The first one would be a book about my life experience in London which would be named 《夢蝶英倫——尋找城市的書藝奧秘》.

2) Research Project
Basic research on Chinese and Western Books:
a. Binding
b. Reading & Writing Habits
c. History/ Evolution of books
d. Typography
e. Structure of the Book
f. Basic Layout Analysis
g. Placing of Books
h. Paper/ Materials

As a Chinese in London, my work is concerned about cultural co-existence. This basic research project is started in my MA study but is not yet finished. I am not aiming at a thorough complete research, but a basic research study which can reveal the basic picture. Through experiencing, studying, analyzing two different ‘book’ cultures, two spiritual aesthetic theories will be concluded. A book will be designed and made, which can also be shared with other artists and educators.

3) Experimental Magazine
I would like to publish a hand-made bi-monthly magazine in limited edition. It would be designed with experimental layouts and creative binding. The aim is to arise people’s sentimental feeling by surprising layouts and unexpected book forms.

Basically, there are two ideas in my mind.
a. The whole project is a personally and artistically designed and made magazine. All text and images and graphics are based on my personal preference and feelings.

b. The project is a collaboration with others like artists, designers, editors, writers, anyone… I initiate the project and the topics of each issues. Then, we can gather a group of people together to discuss, inspire, and create a piece of **** in a bi-monthly base. To be honest, I can think of this kind of project can be very lose, but i don’t really care. Just feel it!

The theme of the first issue would be “01 Fragile”. Anyone who is interested in this mag project can contact me or just give me some ideas of what you think of.

4) A solo/ joint exhibition
It acts as a platform to show myself as a young creative and demonstrate the fruitful artworks throughout these years. Additionally, this exhibition gives me an opportunity to explore the expanded book in a display or installation. I have to deliberate this wholeheartedly.

Hei Shing.
21 January 2009


Contributor

Hei Shing
chanheishing@gmail.com

書就是… A Book is…


一片紙不但表現時間,也表現空間。而一片片的紙張組合起來的書就是一個高深的容器,盛滿文字,既能從中不斷汲取智慧,又能裝入無限的智慧。

A piece of paper reflects not only time but also space. Books are formed by binding papers together to become containers of words that serve as a reservoir as well as a spring of wisdom.

January 2009
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