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.
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:
Twitter – @nwestmeetseast
Photo courtesy of the artist.