A book is a sequence of moments.
Human beings are made of fragments of memories,
a human is a book of memories.
*You are the author of your own book*
As a contemporary bookbinder, I craft Conceptual Books to explore identity, sexuality, and human relationships from being a Chinese gay man. My mixed media handbound books, book-alike objects, and book installations portray solitude, delineate intimacy, and evoke an immersive atmosphere. By experimenting with the materiality of the page, thread, and cover, I deploy personal memories to celebrate the importance of oneself.
My books are inspired by introspection, imagination, and compassion. I incorporate image-making and object-making, papermaking, fiber/textile, and other techniques to showcase the desires, tenderness, and fragility of the LGBTQ community with color, mythology, and symbolism. Improvisation helps me to keep the process organically to mimic the subconsciousness, and I adjust the pages by editing, continue by building, and explore by combining. The journey of making a book is similar to puzzling; starting with fragmental ideas and matching them in a meaningful position that leads to a final answer.
To me, books are the expressions of emotions, sequences of consciousness, and collections of moments. A human is a book; the name is the title, the appearance is the cover, and the memories are the pages. I aspire to bring the sense of ceremony of reading a book into my mixed-media book installation; the viewers enter the space like they open a book, and they close the cover when they exit the space for a poetic and intimate experience. Through curating the different forms of books in purposeful locations based on the site structure, I design an implied book that the audience’s walking flows as the thread to bind the pages of books together as a whole.
Currently, my research focuses on books in expanded fields and gender studies. I explore the materiality and challenge the concept of Book Arts. Through expanding the structure of a book into sculptures, installations, social engagement practice, and time arts, I create conceptual books to foster a comforting utopia for the audience to embrace the vulnerability of otherness.
an idea of conceptualizing the form of a book. The structure and process of bookmaking have developed from stone tablets to audiobooks and e-books nowadays. Through merging conceptual arts and book arts, I explore Book Arts in expanded fields as conceptual books.