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.
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