These pages are mainly for me to record, share and evaluate the development in the MA Final Book Project.

_hei shing.


Rational for MA Book Arts

The postgraduate programme at Camberwell provides a unique opportunity for students from a range of undergraduate backgrounds to develop their practice as artists and designers through the book arts. The book is introduced as a vehicle for the development of concepts and ideas relating to narrative: programmes of study explore the nature of the book with reference to content, form and professional practice.

Through the integration of the fine and applied arts ‘Book Arts’ practice is approached in the broadest possible terms whether considering the book as an editionable item or as a ‘one-off’, acknowledging that technological advances are changing our perceptions of the books traditional functions and meanings.

Camberwell has established itself as a forum for book arts practice by engaging with practitioners and theoreticians in symposia, contextual studies and studio teaching which provides you with the opportunity to define and develop your practice with an understanding of your potential in professional contexts.

Many people make books but few had the focused educational opportunity to examine the relationship between content and its communication within the field of book arts. At Camberwell the subject is characterised by a commitment to examining the relationships between sequential ideas, content, the chosen or given function or role of the work, and the selection of appropriate media and format. Emphasis is placed on research and the development of content, in a combination of intellectual analysis, intuitive and practical experiment. Through these processes the particular interpretations of the book as concept and form evolves for each student.

The object commonly recognised as a book is deconstructed and examined as both a vehicle for information storage, a communication medium, and as a symbolic cultural object which can transcend functional values. Through this enquiry many key elements, such as structure, narrative and context are explored, and a critical framework established within which you question your current personal position and locate issues for your future practice.

The programme recognises the rich history and eclectic nature of the book arts and encompasses production of multiples, the unique, the precious or ephemeral, installation, digital imaging or paper engineering, documentary and poetry, from what can be envisaged to what is not yet recognised.

“It is by now difficult to substantiate any single definition of a book made by an artist, and indeed this very issue many have been surpassed. There are only books, albeit in an intensified and eclectic area. Often these books subvert the notion of illustration, of the separable parts of text and image, which belong to the earlier consideration of the private presses, and were often predicated on rarity and luxury. These new books attempt to synthesise text, image, material, method of production and context into a unified single work. When this succeeds the book functions as a primary form.”
Simon Cutts

The aim is to enable you to understand what it means to work with the book in both theoretical and practical contexts. To develop your individual critical, creative professional potential, locating the book firmly in the context of contemporary practice as a focus for thinking and enabling you to contribute to the international discourse surrounding book art.

>from P. 16 of the Course Handbook of MA Book Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London

1 Response to “MA Book Arts”

  1. 1 celia July 2, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    ar shing,

    i am soooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    pround of you

    all the best wisges la


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Hei Shing

書就是… A Book is…


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.

July 2020

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