2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: Patty Hudak

The final artist of in the interview series of Art Byte Critique’s 2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair participating artists is  Patty Hudak.

From: USA
Time in Japan: 2 years
Education/ Occupation: Artist

How many TABF have you participated in?
This will be my second Tokyo Art Book Fair participation.

How long have you been making books?
I have been making books for almost 2 years.

What is your favorite kind of books to make?
I like to make books based on digital drawings.  I feel very free in the digital world to manipulate drawings without considering physical scale or the limitations of media. In this way, the process feels close to thinking.

Do you have favorite materials to use?
I like laser printing on tracing paper.  The paper reveals marks below, adding dimension to each drawing, and allowing them to react to each other., mimicking the feeling of memory and imagination, as things fade in and out of consciousness.

What is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
The biggest challenge for me when making the book is in the binding.

What kind of books are you making for this fair?
This year, I have created two books, both made with tracing paper and laser printing.

Tokyo Notes is based on lines and shapes drawn from ukiyoe prints.  I am abstracting the shapes of the drawings into a standardized image, with a similar relationships to the page they fall on. The shapes do not directly represent any kind of object, but reference natural forms in lines that echo some kind of Japanese esthetic.

Space Junk represents the near future as an environmental fantasy.  We have placed so many satellites and materials into our atmosphere and beyond; pieces of these materials orbit around our planet.  I imagine a technical and organic swirl, where materials and molecules begin to morph into some kind of accidental design.

What did you learn from last book fair? What are you doing differently for this book fair?
I was not prepared for the amount of enthusiasm that I saw last year at the Tokyo Art Book Fair.  The artists are earnest people, eager to share their ideas, and do not necessarily create for profit. It made me think about how accessible books are to people, and how they can affordably communicate ideas and concepts in a beautiful and direct format.

This year, I am concentrating more on the imagery than making a precious work of art.  I like the exchange aspect of the art fair, and how the fair itself becomes an exhibit of conceptual ideas, which are not always fleshed out in their most perfect form.

How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
Art Byte Critique’s artists have been participating in the TABF since 2014.  I got so much practical advice about such things as glues, formats, bindings,  but, most of all, ABC artists inspired me to join them in the book making experience.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start making books?
Just do it!  It doesn’t need to be complicated, don’t be afraid to express your ideas, even if imperfectly.  Allow the book to be a work in progress.

What would you like people to know about your books?
I would love for someone to respond to one of my books by making a book.  That would be great.

You can see more of Patty’s work at:
www.pattyhudak.com
Instagram: hudakpatty
Facebook: Patty Hudak
Canvas: Patty Hudak
Linked In: Patty Hudak

Photos courtesy of the artist.

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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

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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

Photo courtesy of the artist.

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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.

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?

Picture of Yuko Kamei’s work in progress.

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

Photo courtesy of the artist.
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2017 Tokyo Art Book Fair Interview Series of Art Byte Critique Artists: 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

This interview also appears on the Art Byte Critique website.

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Write Cycle August. The Results and the Review

For August I decided to try an Instagram writer’s challenge where you do a writing-related photo every day. I thought it would be a good way to focus on the writing habit.
Here’s the gallery of the photos with a review of the process following:

In all, I missed 9 days (as I doubled up one “today’s office). I did great until it came to showing work at home. I feel like my home is just too chaotic to share. And while I get the basics done, I’m really not Martha Stewart in home decor. Ah guilt. You bother me.

The other big stumbling block was talking about favorite characters. I either had brain block and could barely recall a characters from a book or suddenly I had too many. And it was tough to figure out how to show that visually. I want my Instagram to be my pictures not stock photos or using work by other people. Book towers are cool but hard when 90% of your books are e-books.

The goal reviews were great. Though day 14 was a huge shock when I realized I was behind schedule. Reviewing again on the 31st is also informative. I had a lot of stuff that wasn’t on that list. So while the 31 Days of Writing looks kind of like a flop, I feel like I did a lot of work.

Overall, I think I plan to do more than I have time for. When mapping out goals I often think of Browning and how “Man’s reach should extend his grasp.” But when it comes to getting things done, maybe SMART goals are more logical. And if I worked in a more linear fashion, I think that would be great.

SMART goals work better for me for planning and looking for pitfalls rather than a schedule. So far, working from a massive list of tasks and due dates posted in multiple places seems to be the most effective. So I’m going to give this another go in September and also mix in this 15 minute time chunking thing. I’m not as in love with my instagram images from August so I also want to take more images I that I like.

Wish me luck! And good luck to you in your creative endeavors.

L

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Favourites from the Tokyo Art Fair 2017

The Tokyo Art Fair 2017 was in March. I was lucky enough to attend for Tokyo Art Beat. I can be a bit shy so having the purpose of recording impressions of the Art Fair and wearing a press arm band really helped to break the ice. There was a lot of work that I really enjoyed and conversations with the artists and gallery owners were fascinating. There were some space constraints for the TAB article and I thought I would share the work here as well.

Artist information is in the title of the photo so you may need to click to see it. My comments are in the description of the photos.

All photos taken with permission of the artists or gallery representatives.

Detail of Chigusa Kono’s glasswork.

 

Kono-San is really nice and generous with her time. Plus she’s a Gunma artist! I’ve met so many people from Gunma recently. I love the concept of her imaginary plants. She bases her work on real plant detail but creates alien looking biological forms. Her work also makes a nod to ikebana. You can arrange the glass plants as you like in the stone stand.  I really regret not getting a better photo of the detail of the work.

 


I rally enjoyed the audio sculpture created by Pe Lang and Marianthi Papalexandri Alexandri. I wish I had done a better job of capturing this. I had a really interesting discussion with Marianthi about the work and her collaboration with Pe Lang.

This kinetic sculpture really fascinated me as well.

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