Saturday, 5 May 2007

Book Flu Strikes Hong Kong!

5 May 2007, Hong Kong

"Autobiobliophiles: Artists who make or use books"

Studio Bibliothèque

27 May - 3 Jun 2007

Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.

- Stephane Mallarme

Autobiobliophiles: Artists who make or use books
is an exhibition of book art by 28 contemporary artists from various leading cities in the world, namely, New York, California, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong and Singapore. It will be held at the newly established Studio Bibliothèque in Hong Kong during 27 May – 3 Jun 2007.

Among the convergences across creative fields that have resurged in recent times is the phenomenon of artists who make or use books. Yet book art continues to occupy a niche position that both extends and departs from more conventional art and publishing practices in terms of creation and reception. Firstly, book art provides a platform on which all kinds of collaboration across the disciplines of art, design and literature may ensue. Consequently, its creation may involve processes shared by or exclusive to artists, writers and publishers such as drawing, painting, photography, writing, printing, binding, exhibition and distribution. Secondly, given its often limited editions, experimental forms and design, the reception of book art may be located on a continuum of private reading in one's personal space to more auratic experiences in the conventional public museum / gallery settings, whilst it may just as possibly be presented as a wall work (e.g., pages of the book framed and hung on walls), sculpture (displayed on plinths), installation (taking up entire exhibitional spaces), as it is in its more bibliographic settings (e.g., in library, on shelves, tables).

As a neologism of “autobiography” (the writing of one's life) and “bibliophiles” (people with special affections for books), the exhibition’s main title Autobiobliophiles brings to focus the varied ways of constructing and consuming the book in the artist's production of self. It addresses the questions: How does the self (re)produce as/in a book? How does one remember, imagine or record aspects of one's life through the book form?

Hot on the heels of the recurrent bird flu in Hong Kong is the impending 'book flu epidermic', consisting of a wide range of autobiographical bookworks exploring mundane and controversial subthemes like love, sex, fiction, biography, tradition, family, travel, writing, solitude, language and war. Among the works are: Tom PHILLIPS' intervention to a victorian novel, James R HOLDSWORTH's throngs of paper aeroplanes flying out of a book, ZHENG Bo's video-and-book installation on his family, Shubigi RAO's pseudo-biography, Michael LEE Hong Hwee's treatise on love, Heman CHONG's science fiction, MAI Ren-jie's Sino-kamasutra, Amy CHAU's almost entirely blanked out diary, the duo DUTTON & SWINDELL's collaborative confessionals, and Reiko KISHIMOTO's dictionary on being a professional foreigner. They fall into one of three categories of audience/reader interaction: offset prints which may be freely browsed by hand; limited editions that require handling through gloves; and finally, the sculptural and installational pieces that are to be viewed but not touched. They are variously presented on walls, plinths, tables, shelves or as part of installations and videos.

This exhibition is the first in the Things artists do… series of exhibition-cum-publication projects addressing the gap in the onslaught of survey projects dealing with theme (e.g, travel) and art form (e.g., video), by focusing on the action and being of artists, e.g., artists who make models, conduct interviews, tell stories, scream, kiss, cry etc… as significant aspect of their practice. This exhibition is part of Fotan Open Studios, organized in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary and graduation show of the Department of Fine Arts in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. It is the inaugural exhibition of the newly established Studio Bibliothèque, the work space of artist Michael Lee Hong Hwee, which facilitates experiments in making, writing, curating and learning.

Studio Bibliothèque
Room 1812, Block B,
Wah Luen Industrial Centre,
15-21 Wong Chuk Yeung Street,
Fo Tan, New Territories,
Hong Kong

1500h, Sun, 27 May 2007

Exhibition dates:
Sun, 27 May - 3 Jun 2007

Opening hours:
1500 – 2000h daily


Alexis HY
Ambrose ANG
Amy CHAU Cheuk-ying
AU Hoi Lam
Darrell LIM
Embassy Projects
MAI Ren-jie
Map Office
Michael LEE Hong Hwee
Sabrina KOH
Shubigi RAO
Terence LIN
Tozer PAK
Vertical Submarine

Michael LEE Hong Hwee

(+852) 92497199
(+65) 96843200

Nothing Ever Happens (one of the spreads)

Laser print and ink on paper, Various sizes

Darrell LIM, 2006

I don't need a man to be a woman (detail view)

Acrylic on found book, 17 x 11 x 3cm

Sabrina KOH, 2005

Untitled (installation view)

Pseudoscience in suitcase & on table, Variable sizes

Shubigi RAO, 2005-6

The Writer (cover design)

Comic album, Ink on paper, 16 x 10.5cm, 62pp.

Chihoi, 1997

Notebook (2004-2005 M.B.) (Spread view)

Pencil and pen on exercise book, 20.5 x 33cm

AU Hoi Lam, 2004-2005

Odd One In: Hong Kong Diary (cover design)

Offset print

Tozer PAK, 2005

Storeys/Stories (series of 7)

Mixed-media objects, 24.5 x 26.5 x 5cm each

Terence LIN, 2004

Poem at 45 rpm

Mixed-media assemblage, 75 x 37.5cm

Andrew GUTHRIE, 2002

Family History Textbook

Video-cum-book installation, 26min

ZHENG Bo, 2005

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