Quick Review of Tokyo Art Book Fair Ginza Edition 2019

I love, love, love the Tokyo Art Book Fair. It’s a concentration of great ideas and you can almost feel the creative energy emanating from the pages. From March 8th to April 7th, Tokyo Art Book Fair is holding the “Ginza Edition” at Ginza Sony Park. The Zine’s Mate shop is open every day. On weekdays you can buy books from a vending machine and on the weekends, exhibitors replace the vending machine. Each weekend has different exhibitors. I love the vending machine concept. Between the vending machine and new exhibitors every weekend, there’s plenty of motivation to go more than once.

 

I shared a table with Art Byte Critique on the opening weekend. Working with ABC is another reason I love TABF. Throughout the year I enjoy watching my fellow artists’ creations morph from idea to physical object. Then during TABF we get to see people interact with our books and ask questions. ABC also shared the table with artists from England that we have been collaborating with over the last two years. I really admire how they push the idea of book form and their craftsmanship.

 

 

Like every year we’ve been next to great tables and this year is no exception. Our neighbours were Anmoc Books, which is based in Korea, Homspun, a clothing shop in Shibuya, and COS. COS had a beautiful book about structures and folds.

 

 

Anmoc Books had some of the most beautiful photography books I’ve seen. Their craftsmanship for handmade photography books is amazing. We traded a few books.

Taehee Park of Anmoc Books with fellow exhibitor

 

On a personal note, I was really excited to finish Glow in the Dark Pop Out Mushrooms for TABF. The case is covered with polymer clay that glows in the dark and the  hand-drawn and painted concertina. The smaller green book, Pop Out Mushrooms was first shown at Launch Pad Gallery in September in the Reading Between the Lines exhibition.

I also had a new project called Space songs which is based on the electromagnetic and radiation waves translated into sound.

I’m going to take my own advice and check out the vending machine during the week. I’ll update the post with pics from my next visits along with some books.

Organized by the Tokyo Art Book Fair & Ginza Sony Park
When: Mar 8 – Apr 7, 2019 from 10:00 – 20:00
*Mar 8 will be from 17:00 – 21:00.
Where: Ginza Sony Park 5-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

TRANSIT
Connected via the B9 Exit of Tokyo Metro Ginza Station (Marunouchi Line/Ginza Line/Hibiya Line)
5 min. walk from the Central Exit of JR Yurakucho Station (Yamanote Line/Keihin-Tohoku Line)

Zine’s Mate:  Every day from 10:00-20:00

Vending Machine: Mon – Fri, starting  from 10:00 – 20:00

Reading Between the Lines–An Art-Book And Zines Exhibition at Launch Pad Gallery

In September, Art Byte Critique artists collaborated with artists from the UK for joint art book exhibitions in two countries. “Reading Between the Lines” at Launch Pad Gallery in Yokohama ran from September 21-October 1, 2018. “Turning the Page” was at Paper 2 gallery in Manchester from September 29-October November 3, 2018.

Joan Birket of St. Helens in the UK developed the connection to Tokyo-based Art Byte Critique to develop relationships and collaborations. The two groups have had previous collaborations in St. Helens, UK,  at Heart of Glass  and Eccleston Community Library for for World Book Day.

Arthur Huang, Art Byte Critique founder, wrote an excellent summary of “Reading Between the Lines”

We would like to thank everyone who came out over the last two weeks to see the exhibition, attend the reception party, listen to artist talks, participate in bookmaking workshops, talk with artists, and most importantly, spend quality time with all the artists’ books created by 20 artists.

It was deeply inspiring and satisfying to see people discovering the book arts for the first time, donning white gloves to pore over the works, finding inspiration in the workshops, and talking about the works and the process.

A big thank you to Fred and Ling from Launch Pad Gallery for giving us the opportunity to put this exhibition together. Their support and enthusiasm for this exhibition was priceless. Thank you to all the Art Byte Critique artists for amazing work and their collective effort in putting on a beautiful, fun, and engaging exhibition supplemented with artist talks and workshops!

Thank you to all the Northwest England artists for sharing their works with us and getting up early to have a great conversation about the book arts and creativity.

It has been an amazing two weeks and we look forward to future opportunities to share our love for book arts in the near future.

While “Reading Between The Lines” at Launch Pad Gallery closed at the beginning of October, Art Byte Critique and Northwest England Artists books were on display at PAPER 2 Gallery in Manchester for the “Turning the Page” artist book exhibition until November 3rd.

It’s been great to meet Fred and Ling at Launch Pad Gallery and to get to know the British artists and talk about books. I look forward to connecting and collaborating with them more often.

COMING SOON: Check this link to see images provided from the reception of Turning the Page at PAPER 2 Gallery

Find out more about the participating artists by clicking the links below:
Jane Barwood
Joan Birkett
Paul Cousins
Deanna Gabiga
Arthur Huang
Patty Hudak
Mariko Jesse
Yuko Kamei
A.J. Malone
Jeni McConnell
Carol Miller
Julia Nascimento
Lyle Nisenholz
Mia O
Lori Ono
Jacqui Priestley
Louise Rouse
Yvonne Tinsley
Claire Weetman
Nick West

Onishi summer matsuri

Over the last couple years since I did a short artist residency in Onishi in Gunma Prefecture, I’ve been lucky enough to attend the summer matsuri. This is a super short post since I’ve written about it before, but I found these pictures from 2015 the other day and it brought back great memories of hot summers, community solidarity and friendliness. I hope I can take more pictures this summer.

 

Thanks ONISHI!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Exhibitions Including my FIRST Solo Show

It’s been a productive time behind the scenes and now the fun stuff! I have three exhibitions coming up in the next couple weeks. Two are group exhibitions and the other is my first SOLO show!

I’ll be posting more about each show in the future, but for now, this is the schedule.

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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Nicosui and Harunobu Aihara: The Couple that Felts Together

aihara-yuko-nicosui-needlefelting-fiber-artist-lorionophotographyYuko and Harunobu Aihara felt together. The pair recently had a fiber sculpture exhibition called Ikimono Expo 2 at Gallery Choukou (ギャラリー澄光) near Okusawa station (on the Meguro line) that shows how creative and detailed needle felting can be. The couple started 7 years ago with a small needle felting kit but immediately saw potential for their own designs and started with their own creations almost immediately. One thing that I noticed was the variety of color in the work and I know that they base structure takes a lot of wool. They admit to having a lot of wool roving–two large plastic boxes in fact. For two artists working together and using the same medium, their aesthetic is completely different. And all of the incredible detail (except for Harunobu Aihara’s yarn wrapping), is done with felting needles, not embroidery.

Aihara Yuko uses the artist name Nicosui. Real animals and the animal characters of Grimm’s fairytales inspire her work. She chooses her subjects by how much they intrigue her. Sometimes it is the story, as with the fairytale creatures, but often it is the animal’s face and her desire to try and create a particular shape or feature. She chose the koala because she was interested in recreating the fluffy ears and the shape of the muzzle. She told the most difficult was the giraffe because of the structure. It was surprisingly longer and thinner in the nose than compared to skull.


aihara-yuko-nicosui-needlefelting-fiber-artist-lorionophotography-2While Nicosui’s creations look realistic, she seldom chooses the animal’s natural color. Instead she chooses a color palette that represents what she sees the spirit of the animal: red for the lion, and pink and purple for the feminine nature of the giraffe, green for the koala. She also makes more realistically colored animals in small scale for broaches.

What Nicosui wants people to know about her work:

ぜつめつ動物をなくす (prevent extinction of animals)

Many of the characters she creates are endangered animals. She hopes to inspire the viewer to live in peace with animals and take care of the earth so that people and animals have a healthy place to live.

aihara-harunobu-fiber-artist-needlefelting-portrait-lorionophotography
Aihara-san holds “Gokiburi”

 

Harunobu Aihara is an illustrator and graphic designer. He is also a bassist in a 70’s music hard rock band. Nicosui’s work has more realism while Aihara’s work is about unique, fantastical characters. His style is whimsical and humorous. He says his style has almost always been like this. This year was the first he tried making insect-inspired creature. He really enjoyed them so he made a lot.

It’s not just Aihara’s aesthetic that is different from Nicosui’s. His work process is also completely different. He says that Nicosui takes a lot of time with each project working slowly to perfect her details while he prefers いきよいでつくる, making with momentum.

While he often starts with a sketch, which he may or may not adhere to. Sometimes he freestyles with wool. The base of his sculptures are wire armatures. He builds dimension over the armature by wrapping wool roving around it, and using felting needles to refine the shape. The color detail is a layer of needle felting, sometimes wrapping with yarn or fabrics depending on the effect he wants


He also made many angels, which also have insect or avian features. He said that they are slightly disguised to look like a bird if a person looked up to see one flying in the sky.


His goal: たのしと平和.  He wants to bring viewers moments of enjoyment where they can feel peace through happiness.

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Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016: That’s a Wrap!

Another Tokyo Art Book Fair has come and gone. Really proud of my fellow Art Byte Critiquers for their hard work. Loved their books and it’s so much fun to work with them.

I’m still really interested in creating mame bon. Mame bon translates to bean books, so called because of their small size. My friend kindly described my books as objets, and I was really happy to hear that. I want people to treat them as objects that they can look at and fiddle with and enjoy. I had a few other ideas for books that I wasn’t able to complete for this fair but I’m quite happy with my books this year. Bumble is probably my favorite book. I really like bees and this photo collection of bumble bees and lavender is actually quite cute. My ultimate favorite is the zine MaiNichi Mushroom. Lots of people were interested in MaiNichi Mushroom and some copies were sold. Foxey did a great job to promote the magazine.

What I probably enjoy most is watching people interact with my books. Of course it’s great when they buy them, but I also enjoy watching people pick up the books, discuss them with friends and walk away with a smile. It’s especially flattering to have someone by a book at TABF because there are so many great books for people to choose from!

The last two years I usually did interviews before the fair to promote their work and the fair. This year we were all working up until the deadline and had no time. But I really want to share their work with you so look for artist interviews in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow I will post about a couple of the books I bought. It’s too dark now to take photos that would do the books justice.

If you went to TABF this year, please comment and let me know what you thought of the fair this year. If you have any questions about my books, don’t hesitate to ask!

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