Archive for January, 2011

回來

我回來,我終於回來了。

三年半的倫敦生活之後,原來,是可以在三日半之內,含淚撇掉一切,隨便買一張機票,就這樣回來的。

我從來沒有想過,會在這灰色的心情下,收拾一切回香港的。認識我的人也知道,我是一個頗有計劃的人,一步一步,按步就班的完成所有事情,從來不會即興做一些大決定。我常常保持「好來好去」的心態,即使要走,也要走得完滿。可是,原來很多東西並不讓你選擇,祂要奪去就奪去,毫不留情,迅雷不及掩耳,完完全全地打亂了我整個人生的陣腳。

2011年1月9日(星期日),我突然收到惡耗,家裡發生了事。晴天霹靂,從電話聽到消息的一剎,淚水在眼眶凝聚,湧出,流下,一直流、一直流,一直流到眼睛再沒有眼淚、腫痛乾澀為止。我實在不知怎樣面對,心裡只想到盡快回去。混亂的腦中模糊的盤算著:辭職、退房、訂箱、海運,我要一一的盡快處理。當天,我就一邊哭、一邊一隻一隻英文字母的打,打了一封電郵給我上司,說明狀況,要在一兩天內辭工離開。眼淚一滴一滴的落在鍵盤上,整個人快要崩潰了。

我好不容易的捱過了第一天。到星期一,我在早上十時回到公司,與上司交代一切公事、收拾所有私人物件後,我就離開這間工作了一年半的公司。上司 John 是一個絕對好人,非常體諒,讓我在這非常時刻能立即離開。我並沒有跟任何同事說再見,也沒有對任何同事說什麼,我就這樣突然的消失於他們眼前。其實,我從來沒有做過這樣不禮貌的事,況且每個同事也待我很好;但我很怕,真的很怕見到他們,我會忍不住。我也不知要與他們說什麼,我也不會跟他們說什麼。我可以做的,只有悄悄地消失。我想,待我心情平伏後,才 Send 電郵跟他們說再見吧。走後,我立即到 China Town,買了一張星期四晚的單程回港機票。我發覺,錢,於此時,已經不再重要了。

接著的星期二及三,執拾、執拾、執拾,不停的摺紙箱子、不停的 Pack,設法專心地做好,暫時忘卻悲傷。在一天半時間把三年半的記憶裝進9個箱子裡,在送走它們的之後,我整個人已經疲憊不堪,但我根本無法進睡。我只好叫幾位朋友到家,把我沒法帶走的東西帶走。我也真的希望他們能把我沉痛的感受一併帶走……可惜,這並沒可能。

星期四晚,三位好友陪我到機場,送了我最後一程。飴、Amy、MiMi,感謝您們。沒有您們的話,我也不知怎樣渡過這艱難的幾天。

淚水陪住我走過了在英倫最後的五天;令我最始料不及的是,一生最開心的記憶、與最悲痛的記憶,竟也同樣集於此處。

終於,在星期五(1月14日)晚,航機抵達香港,我回來了。

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人生最黑暗的一天

Book Design Lecture: Irma Boom

Irma Boom’s Quotations from this Lecture:

“What has always been important to me is the complete trust of my commissioner, I immediately drop my pen if there is no collaboration and if I feel we are not on the same track, no use to continue. If it works, then the object that we collectively created hopefully pushes the boundary of the definition of a book.”

“I love the industrial-made books, I hate the hand-made books.”

“Suddenly, I knew I was in the world of graphic designers, and then I have lots of friends and lots of enemies.”

“I make dummies. I make lots of models, small, big, whatever, I make always dummies.”

“It’s pity that lots of designers don’t read, so please do.”

“In the beginning, I was always working with architects on a book for 6 weeks or 5 weeks sitting at OMA and then making all these books. At the end, they change so much times. It’s much nice if you only work in the last days with them because then you get the final information. You can make a final book. It’s nice to do a book in 3 days instead of 5 years or 6 weeks. It’s another energy certainly for this kind of books.”

“What I got as a present from the Government Printing Office, you don’t believe, is a package of A3 paper… very silly present!”

“I put all yellow colours on the inside because he doesn’t like it. And you should know, it was very irrespective. His family is all in our royal family in the Netherlands. So, don’t fool with him. And nobody fools with him. Nobody! I thought, well, I’m this person coming in. I do this book. I’m out of his life. I can take this risk.”

“I think I never do this kind of book again because it makes me so nervous to fold them back.”

“I have sort of science: If I can make it by hands, and a machine can do it much better in an industrial way.”

“For me, it’s more telling a story of the life of Otto Treumann. It was really sad that he first liked it. I showed him everything. When the book is printed, and his generation, colleagues, same old designers said, well, we don’t like it. Then, I thought, well, fuck you! I mean it. I was so angry.”

“If a book has no deadline, you don’t have a book.”

“As you know, in general, publishers are very conservative. And also book people, I think, are very conservative.”

“For me, the object of a book is very important. The Yale Press always want to have a weaving of Sheila on the cover. And I thought the interesting lady like Sheila needs a larger audience, not only textile people. Imagine if there is a textile on this cover and only textile people will pick up this book. Now the book is more or less a sort of object. It’s very specific object which is made for her. I will never use it for anything else. And I also want to have a white book because the colour is inside. The Yale Press said, we won’t sell white books. I thought of convention. Who the hell tells you a white book doesn’t sell? Also black books don’t sell. What’s the matter? And I made hundreds of covers. I said I cannot do it because it’s not good for Sheila. Sheila needs a more white book. And we can have the work on the back, but on the front, it should be a sort of interpretation of her work. That’s much more a thing and a object for her, would help her and serve her than putting a work of her on the cover. It’s also Sheila Hicks. Sheila Hicks makes huge works. It is just a collection of her miniatures. We were really in a fight. And I put the book many times off the table. I really didn’t want to do the book anymore. I was really very sad. In the end, there is no time anymore to make another cover. They said, well, let’s do it. So, time save me. What happened, the book became enormous success. It was best seller of Yale Press. It was really very funny that it sold so many copies. And I took this book with me where is a hand-writing on it. Just last Monday, the third printing ships to the United States. It was so funny a book didn’t sell, it’s getting it’s third print.”

“Of course I love internet. For me, internet is so important and I’m very happy that I’m a book designer in the time of internet. I think it’s only possible to make such a specific book because we have internet. Otherwise, don’t do a crazy book like this with this very specific treatment of the edges. Because of internet, the books are allowed to be a bit more an object. I think that helps me a lot.”

“The paper is my own recipe. The paper has the corporate philosophy of the company. That’s for example, look for the unusual; listen, learn and react; keep the things simple. It’s all in a watermark in a book. Basically, I wanted to have a Japanese paper from a very specific plant, really beautiful paper, very thin. We could have five thousands pages but we now only have half. Basically, that paper, I could order it, even though it was quite expensive. So I sent a fax to Japan to order the paper for so many books. They were very happy to get the order and they sent the fax back. With the line, the paper is ready in 14 years. We didn’t have any limit in spending money. No budget, no limit at all, only time. So, time was killing us. Of course, we need the paper one and a half year before. Then we are ready to print because the book has to be ready in 1996. So I had to find another print.”


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.

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