2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: Louise Rouse

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with Art Byte Critique members participating in the Tokyo Art Book Fair which runs from October 5 to October 8th. This is Art Byte Critique’s fourth appearance at TABF and we are all really excited.  Louise kindly too time to do a Q&A series and provides some images of her projects.

Name: Louise Rouse
From: UK
Time in Japan: 9 years 336 days as of today. Plus 4 months before that in 2006. Plus 2 weeks before that in 2003. Plus 3 weeks before that in 1998.

Education/ Occupation: MFA / Adjunct Professor for Printmaking & Drawing, Art Program, Temple University Japan Campus

How long have you been making books?
I don’t think I could pinpoint when I started organising ideas into bound paper objects of some kind. I can remember doing that forever.

When I was in middle school I even made my maths coursework which was a large part of the final grade into a ringbound zine with elaborately designed pages printed out on our home inkjet printer. I cannot speak for the quality of the maths though…

My middle school social studies teacher liked my zine assignment submission on the subject of local church history and paintings so much he wouldn’t give it back and was still showing it to other classes the last I heard… I’m still a little mad he didn’t give it back.

At age 15 I went on a work experience placement to a teen girl magazine in London and told my class I wanted to be a magazine designer as an adult.

I think I have always used something like graphic design (even before I knew what that was) to organise my thoughts and to actually understand the world.

I instinctively tidy disparate thoughts into sequential sections that are visually easy to look at and somehow the information gets traction where otherwise it would get lost and unprocessed in the sea of un-designed chaos out there in the world.

There is almost nothing that consistently pleases me as much as beautiful images and lettering on paper that I can hold in my hands and flip back and forth through my fingers.

What is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
The biggest dilemma is to counter any and all inclinations to complicate an already large engineering challenge. In other words, making the book the simplest form of the idea you want to achieve because once you start editioning books you really discover the limits of one human’s time and labour.

This year I’m making a set of more elaborate books than I have in a while so we’ll see if I can actually adhere to my own hard-learned principle.

Do you have any art book heroes?
I’m indebted to Jonathan Ward who taught at my undergrad in Bristol. He told me romantic stories of his youth, carrying a suitcase of artist books around on the trains of Europe and selling them for a living. This seemed totally normal at the time, like “oh yeah, make money from artist books while traveling on trains, I dig it”.

He owns a small fine-art silkscreen press on the Isle of Weight now so it must be possible.

Also at the same university is Sarah Bodman, a dedicated book arts researcher and champion of this artform based in the Centre for Fine Print Research. Her passion and dedication to the community is inspiring. You can subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/newsletters.html

How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
Art Byte Critique consistently supports all members and everyone seems to really feel it at the end of each meeting. Normally as an artist, it’s very easy to feel like your work is an island of no relevance to any living being but I feel the exact opposite of that in the company of these incredible people. The combined output of our collective is like a living organism. Maybe like a wild wisteria… A bit invasive…. and sprawling…. but hella pretty.

What would you like people to know about your books?
This year I am presenting a book series of four titles, Kinjo, Tsukin, Tocho and Kabukicho (Neighborhood, Commute to work, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the red light district of Kabukicho) Each book is made with wooden casings which are carved with the title. The wood used is all native to Japan and reflects the character of the area, the paper is also hand made paper from Japan with connotations about those locations. Inside are frottage rubbings taken by using the streets and surfaces of the city as “wild printing plates”. Creating the work itself is a very public performance and a lot of interactions occurred between me and fellow Tokyoites who caught me doing this unusual thing in public space. It has been a very engaging project to work on and given me a lot of new thoughts and ideas each day working on it and I’m looking forward to presenting the works and the diary of making it to people at the book fair.

Do you have any advice for people coming to the book fair?
Last year I found a Japanese-run stall that imported a range of small edition linocut illustration magazines from a specialist German publisher, that was a great find. Around 40 pages of full color or 2-color linocuts, carved by artists and printed by this publisher, maybe ¥9000 or so which is a steal considering. Also some unexpected finds from totally unknown young artists who should be charging a lot more for intensively loved and crafted art books and fine-printed zines.

In between all of this magic, take lots of breaks for refreshments.

You can find out more about Louise and her work at the following:
instagram.com/louise.rouse.art

instagram.com/louises_love_letters
facebook.com/louise.prints.art/

louiserouse.com (empty at the moment though but for posterity… when i get it back up)

Tokyo Art Book Fair is at Warehouse TERRADA
2-6-10 Higashishinagawa Shinagawa-ku Tokyo

Preview/Reception and Hours and Admission
October 5th (Thu) 15:00-21:00(Tentative)
Admission: 1,000 yen

Free Admission and Hours:
October 6th (Fri) 12:00-20:00
October 7th (Sat) 12:00-20:00
October 8th (Sun) 11:00-19:00

Advertisements
2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: Louise Rouse

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: Nick West

Our fourth interview in our Tokyo Art Book Fair 2017 with Art Byte Critique artists is Nick West.

Name: Nick West
From: Brighton, UK.
Time in Japan: 7 years.

How many TABF have you participated in? 
TABF 2017 will be my second artist book fair that I’ve participated in. In both years I showed my work with artists from the collective Art Byte Critique.

How long have you been making books?
I have been making books, on and off, since about 1998.

What is your favorite kind of books to make?
I’ve always been drawn to the physicality of books so I like to make books that emphasise their sculptural characteristics.

Do you have favorite materials to use?
I like to use simple materials. Just paper, thread and glue.

What kind of books are you making for this fair?
Actually, I’ve spent some time working on an installation in a gallery in the UK this summer.  This work entailed making 26 circular-bound books cut in shapes that approximate letters of the alphabet. Although there isn’t room for the whole work at TABF, I’ll be exhibiting some images and an example book from this project alongside a separate blueprint.

Nick West, A-Z² (2017)

 

 

What did you learn from last book fair? What are you doing differently for this book fair?
The best thing I saw was that the delight that people take from thumbing through books. I hope to give visitors a more tactile appreciation of my works this year.

Do you have any art book heroes?
Not art book heroes, as such, but I’ve long been interested in a French group called Oulipo. Roughly translated, ‘Oulipo’ means ‘the potential for literature’. They aren’t so well known but they were a group of writers during the 1960s who devised various ways of writing using constrained techniques. One novel, ‘A Void’ was even told without the letter e.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start making books?
Make the book you want to read.

Do you have any advice for people coming to the book fair?
There’s always loads to see at TABF. Give yourself plenty of time to get lost in the books on display.

You can find out more about Nick West and his work at:
https://www.facebook.com/nickweststudio/
Twitter – @nwestmeetseast
https://www.canvas.co.com/creatives/nick-west

Tokyo Art Book Fair is at Warehouse TERRADA
2-6-10 Higashishinagawa Shinagawa-ku Tokyo

Preview/Reception and Hours and Admission
October 5th (Thu) 15:00-21:00(Tentative)
Admission: 1,000 yen

Free Admission and Hours:
October 6th (Fri) 12:00-20:00
October 7th (Sat) 12:00-20:00
October 8th (Sun) 11:00-19:00

Photo courtesy of the artist.
This blog first appeared at The Spendy Pencil.

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: Nick West

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: Yuko Kamei

The third interview of the Art Byte Critique’s 2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair participating artists is with Yuko Kamei.

From: Japan
Time in Japan: Most of my life except 5 years in U.K.
Education/ Occupation: MFA Fine Art & BA Dance Studies
Yuko works full time while continuing her practice

How many TABF have you participated in?
This year will be my second time participating in TABF.

How long have you been making books?
My first art book came out in 2009 as part of “on concrete” exhibition which I organised together with Jörg Obergfell and Sebastian Stumpf. Working with a graphic designer in Leipzig, Germany, it was a fun collaborative project from conception to materialisation. I worked on a similar publication in 2013 with Hikaru Miyakawa along with the show titled “Platonic Obsession”. For this one I took all the initiative from the layout to selecting paper, ink color, and binding methods.

I began to take book making more seriously recently especially after my first TABF in 2016. I think I will produce more in the coming years.

What is your favorite kind of books to make?
I like books with a feel of somewhere between DIY and mechanical reproduction, which might explain why I employ photography as a main medium.

 

yuko-kamei-photographer-tokyoartbookfair2017-thespendypencil
Picture of Yuko Kamei’s work in progress.           Photo courtesy of the artist.

What kind of books are you making for this fair?

The new book is called “The Great Stillness”, and it is based on a photo series which I have been working on since 2012. Each picture was taken to be printed in a large size so that one can see both the whole scene and details, but for turning them into a book I wanted it to be a handy pocketable size while keeping the in-and-out movement of picture viewing. This is gradually determining the book structure, and I would like to be playful about combining different methods of printing. Like music, this will be the first remix of the ongoing project, and there could be many more versions to come.

What did you learn from last book fair? What are you doing differently for this book fair?
The great thing I learned last year was that people who will buy my book exist. Someone I don’t know took my book in his/her hand, flipped it through, liked it, and brought it home. My idea somehow clicked their mind, and I think that is very special. Because of this I am approaching this year’s TABF little more confidently. I hope it happens again this year.

How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
ABC for me is a serious yet inclusive place where I can be myself and fuelled to do what I do. Going to the monthly get-together helps me to get back on track and be productive.

What would you like people to know about your books?
Making books is like creating a framework to perch upon for the ideas that float inside my head. It is becoming an important medium for me apart from photography.

You can see more of Yuko’s work at:
http://yuccak.net

Tokyo Art Book Fair is at Warehouse TERRADA
2-6-10 Higashishinagawa Shinagawa-ku Tokyo

Preview/Reception and Hours and Admission
October 5th (Thu) 15:00-21:00(Tentative)
Admission: 1,000 yen

Free Admission and Hours:
October 6th (Fri) 12:00-20:00
October 7th (Sat) 12:00-20:00
October 8th (Sun) 11:00-19:00

Photo courtesy of the artist. This blog post also appeared on www.thespendypencil.wordpress.com

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: Yuko Kamei

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series–Arthur Huang

Arthur Huang took time out to do a Q &A session for the interview series with Art Byte Critique members participating in the Tokyo Art Book Fair. TABF runs from October 5 to October 8th.

Name: Arthur Huang
From: United States
Time in Japan: Eight years
Occupation: Artist / Researcher

How many TABF have you participated in?
2017 will be the fourth time that I have participated in the Tokyo Art Book Fair.

How long have you been making books?
I have been making artist’s books and zines off and on for the last four years

What is your favorite kind of books to make?
I like to make books which have something unique or unusual in their structure and form.

Do you have favorite materials to use?
I have a fondness for transparent and translucent materials although those materials can be a challenge to translate into book form.

What is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
Finding a balance between content and form like any other creative genre continues to be the biggest challenge for me. I often struggle with finding a unique form that does not overpower or silence the content of the book.

What kind of books are you making for this fair?
I am going to publish the second issue in my Dialogue zine series where I take my practice of Daily Drawings and translate that to book form. For the second issue, I am going to shrink the size of the zine and focus on the development on one drawing rather than two opposing drawings. The second issue will be more of an internal dialogue.

I am also going to publish the first 2016 Memory Walks artist book. I have worked with my Memory Walks project regularly in book form over the last four years. The sequential and archival nature of that project seems to lend itself well to the book form. For the 2016 Memory Walks Artist’s Book Project, I will create a series of 12 books, one for each month, which will consist of images from my 2016 Memory Walks eggshell drawings. The books will hopefully be released each month with the inaugural release being October 2016. The size and form of the books will resemble and eggshell, that is smaller and round. That is all I will say about the book itself so as to encourage you to come out to TABF 2017 in October!

What did you learn from last book fair? What are you doing differently for this book fair?
Every year at the TABF is different. You never know where your booth is going to be, you cannot control the weather, and you cannot control who buys your books. I think like any other creative endeavour, I have decided that I will focus on making books and zines that interest me process-wise.

Do you have any art book heroes?
Brian Dettmer and Maya Lin

Do you have any advice for people who want to start making books?
Just start with some blank pieces of paper and learn how to create the book structures you are interested in. Worst case, you have a spare memo pad in book form, best case, you have an awesome new notebook for yourself.

How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
It is also helpful to know that other people are working towards the same goal as you. Ever since the first time ABC participated in the TABF in 2014, there have always been a group of artists that want to work towards the next year’s TABF. There are also artists who have never made artist’s books or zines that find their way into that world. And the regular meetings, of course, as it always helps to have deadlines.

Do you have any advice for people coming to the book fair?
If you have the time, I suggest going through the entire book fair rather quickly to scout out booths that catch your eye. On the second pass, take your time visiting booths that pique your interest. Talk with the artists. Divide your budget for buying books and zines over the number of days you are planning to visit, so you can buy that last minute discovery.

Learn more about Arthur and his work or follow him on social media:
www.arthurjhuang.com (Website)
arthurjhuang.wordpress.com (Blog)
Instagram: @lifeasaconsumer
Twitter: @lifeasaconsumer

Tokyo Art Book Fair is at Warehouse TERRADA
2-6-10 Higashishinagawa Shinagawa-ku Tokyo

Preview/Reception and Hours and Admission
October 5th (Thu) 15:00-21:00(Tentative)
Admission: 1,000 yen

Free Admission and Hours:
October 6th (Fri) 12:00-20:00
October 7th (Sat) 12:00-20:00
October 8th (Sun) 11:00-19:00

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series–Arthur Huang

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series–Lori Ono

The Tokyo Art Book Fair 2017 is a month away! Five Art Byte Critique members will be at a table with six artists’ new work and favorites from previous years. Please stop by and say hi. We have a series of interviews with the six participants. We start with Canadian artist, Lori Ono.

NAME: Lori Ono
NATIONALITY: Canadian
TIME IN JAPAN: About 20 years

How many TABF have you participated in?
This is my fourth time to participate. I’m just as excited as the first time but maybe less nervous. I can’t wait to see what other book artists will make.

What is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
Finding the best form for a book or page layout is fun but challenging. I want to try unusual material or create unusual shapes.

What kind of books are you making for this fair?
I started a zine series called MaiNichiMushroom Magazine and I’m trying to finish the series for TABF. The Case of the Golden Mushroom is an illustrated chapter book and Water Safety is a felt and embroidered book. I’m also making different mamebon.


Do you have any art book heroes?
There are several people I follow on Instagram.

How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
I have a tendency to make things too complicated or over-engineer. My ABC colleagues really help me to edit my ideas.

Do you have any advice for people coming to the book fair?
Talk to the book artists! Don’t be shy about asking questions.

You can find Lori and her work at:
Blog: www.thespendypencil.wordpress.com
Instagram: loriono_thespendypencil
Twitter: @thespendypencil

Tokyo Art Book Fair is at Warehouse TERRADA
2-6-10 Higashishinagawa Shinagawa-ku Tokyo

Preview/Reception and Hours and Admission
October 5th (Thu) 15:00-21:00(Tentative)
Admission: 1,000 yen

Free Admission and Hours:
October 6th (Fri) 12:00-20:00
October 7th (Sat) 12:00-20:00
October 8th (Sun) 11:00-19:00

2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series–Lori Ono

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2015: Q & A with Marc Tibbs

Name: Marc Tibbs
From: San Diego, California
Time in Japan: 3 years
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts

marc-tibbs-3-by-thirteen-booksHow long have you been making books?
I took a book binding course my senior year college in 2011 and have been making book ever since.

marc-tibbs-3-by-thirteen-booksWhat is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
The hardest part of making a book for me is sticking to the original theme and making a cohesive story.

What kind of books are you making for this fair?
The books I made for this year’s fair is the product of 39 days of drawing and writing.

Time and Location Details
The Tokyo Art Book Fair is held from September Saturday 19 – Monday 21 (holiday)
at Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tohoku University of Art and Design GAIEN CAMPUS
Marc and Art Byte Critique Members are on the 2nd floor booth G-11
1-7-15 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
HOURS:
Saturday: 3-9
Sunday: 12-8
Monday: 11-7

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2015: Q & A with Marc Tibbs

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2015: Q & A with Arthur Huang

Name:  Arthur Huang
From:  United States
Time in Japan:  A little over six years
Occupation: Molecular and Neuro Biologist and Artist

How long have you been making books?
Going to the Tokyo Art Book Fair over the last several years and
working with other artists in Art Byte Critique inspired me to finally
get off the couch and start making artist books.  I am a relative
newbie to the artist book world – it has been a little more than a
year of making artist books.
21 Days of Memory Walks リーフレット画像What is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
The biggest challenge is finding the right balance between the book
structure and the concept.  For me, I want the book structure to
reflect the artistic concepts while maintaining the functionality of a
book.

What kind of books are you making for this fair?
I will be exhibiting my “21 Days of Memory Walks” artist book for this
year’s Tokyo Art Book Fair.  This artist book was produced earlier
this year and I finished the complete edition of 21 for the upcoming
Tokyo Art Book Fair.  The concept behind this book was to translate my
work with the Memory Walks eggshell drawings into book format.  The
book consists of a acrylic embedded crushed Memory Walk eggshell from
one of the 21 days for the cover.  The reader will find a list of all
my walks for each of the 21 days with times and departure points
juxtaposed with a scanned image of the eggshell for that day.

012515 Week Memory Walks ClusterWhat did you learn from last book fair? What are you doing differently for this book fair?
I decided to simplify things for this year’s book fair.  I have spent
the last year making various editions.  It has been a series of trial
and error in terms of production and realization of concepts.  In the
end  “21 Days of Memory Walks” has been the most satisfying of all the
editions in terms of concept and production.  In addition to the
artist books, I will be exhibiting one of my weekly Memory Walk
Cluster works to give the artist book some context.

Do you have any advice for people coming to the book fair?
There will be more booths than ever at this year’s Tokyo Art Book
Fair.  Be patient, take your time wandering through the booths.  You
may not see everything, but it will make it a more enjoyable
experience connecting with what is in front of you.  Also, talk with
the artists!  This is a great opportunity to learn more the bookmaking
process and connect with their works.  Last piece of advice, go the
the Printer’s Section and get lots of free swag!
You can see more of Arthur’s work at his website: http://www.arthurjhuang.com

Time and Location Details
The Tokyo Art Book Fair is held from September Saturday 19 – Monday 21 (holiday)
at Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tohoku University of Art and Design GAIEN CAMPUS
1-7-15 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
HOURS:
Saturday: 3-9
Sunday: 12-8
Monday: 11-7

You can read about Art Byte Critique artist Lyle Nisenholz here and Karin Gunnarsson here.

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2015: Q & A with Arthur Huang