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

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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Artist Interview with Arthur Huang

Is This The Way I Went. Photo credit: Arthur Huang
Is This The Way I Went. Photo credit: Arthur Huang

Arthur Huang took time to answer some questions as part of my interview series to wrap up Art Byte Critique group’s participation in the Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016.

Arthur is the founder of ABC. Arthur is a neuroscientist and his artistic practices reflect data collection and the structure of memories and the brain. He describes his work best:

“I live and work in Tokyo, Japan as an artist and researcher. I am interested in everyday memories which I have been exploring in my studio practice since 2001. I moved to Tokyo in 2009 to work as a molecular biologist and neuroscientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute studying memory and learning in mice. I am the director of the Tokyo-based artist collective Art Byte Critique. I have exhibited work in the United States, Europe, and Japan including HAGISO, Southern Exposure, Printed Matter, neurotitan, the Austin Museum of Art, Tokyo Art Book Fair, Spiral Independent Creator’s Festival, and the Setouchi Triennale 2013.”
-Arthur Huang

Why did you want to participate in TABF?
Books and printed matter are so fascinating to me.  Along with the ideas presented in printed matter, the way they are printed and how they feel in my hand are equally important.  I love going to a bookstore and choosing a book just based on how it looks and how it feels in my hand.  Artist’s books are an further extension of that idea of object and it offers another way to present ideas that is not solely restricted to reading from front to back.

21 Days of Memory Walks. Photo credit: Arthur Huang
21 Days of Memory Walks. Photo credit: Arthur Huang. 2015

Back in 2013, I came to the TABF for the first time and I was amazed at the range of books, zines, and other printed matter that was being made in Japan and around the world. I made a simple artist book using screen printing in graduate school and I found the process of making it and the end result quite enjoyable. But between the end of graduate school and my first visit to TABF, I never found the proper motivation or inspiration to return to the process.  Seeing what was possible with artist’s books and looking for a way to bring together different artists associated with Art Byte Critique, I decided to organise artists to learn how to make artist’s books and participate in the TABF.  This was our third year of participating at the TABF and it continues to be inspirational interms of seeing what other artists are making as well as a way to seek out other like-minded artists to participate in Art Byte Critique’s activities.

What kind of books did you produce?

For the TABF 2016, I decided to simplify my process due to a number of concurrent exhibitions.  I also wanted to move away from the overly labor intensive production process that I found myself involved in for the last two TABF.  I decided to focus on my

everyday drawings and make a zine that speaks to my process of making these drawings.  The result of these efforts was an A5 size, 16-page zine called “Dialogue #1” where I start two drawings with two different motifs and let the two motifs bleed onto the other drawing over the course of making the final drawings.

How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
Having regular meetings about organising the booth as well as seeing work in progress was very motivating.  It was fantastic to see the continued enthusiasm of artists who have been making books for the TABF since 2014.  It was also great to see artists become enamoured with the making of artist’s books for the first time.  The energy was contagious for everyone I think.

What do you take away from this experience?/What did you learn from the process of preparing for the show?
It continues to be a great experience and I look forward to ABC’s continued participation in the TABF.  What I have come to realise is that while the process of making the artist’s books is the main focus, we also need to think more about the presentation component of our work within the context of the booth.  Walking around the TABF and looking at other artists and what they came up with for the presentation was inspiring and daunting.  We learned a great deal about the potential for creating a presentation that catches the eye among the hundreds of booths at TABF.

Over the course of the last several years, I have come to realise that my artist’s books are not a standalone work.  They often work in relationship to or supplement larger works and ideas that I am interested in.  I think that this is not necessarily a bad thing.  However, I want to work more on making artist’s books that can be presented on their own without the need for any additional context.

What was your biggest challenge?
I am used to working on labor intensive projects so simplifying the studio process for this “Dialogue #1” zine was my biggest challenge.  Even seeing the finished project and being satisfied with how well it correlated to the idea in my head, I still continue to spin ideas about how to make it more.  I need to try and remember that sometimes, “more” is not necessary.

If you are interested in Art Byte Critique, you can find out more at https://atobaito.wordpress.com or check out their Facebook page.

You can find out more about Arthur Huang and his work at: http://www.arthurjhuang.com/

 

Artist Interview with Yuko Kamei

Today Yuko Kamei shares her insights about the Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016 and working with  Art Byte Critique group. This is the second in a series of interview with the ABC artists who participated in the TABF 2016.

Portrait of Yuko Kamei
Portrait of Yuko Kamei courtesy of the artist.

Yuko studied contemporary dance at Roehampton University, U.K. and received her MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2007. Her interest in body-based thinking led her to the legacy of post-modern dance in New York in the 1960s and 70s, especially Contact Improvisation. She learned how the laws of physics apply to human bodies and movements, and how musculoskeletal awareness influences abstract thinking. Seeking for ways to communicate kinesthetic wisdom learned through dancing, she finds photography to be ideal space in which to work.

Why did you want to participate in TABF?
I have been an artist book fan myself, and participation to TABF was something I’ve always wanted to do.

Art book of notes and sketches by Yuko Kamei
Thoughts Collection by Yuko Kamei

What kind of books did you produce?
This year I made a small A7 sized photocopy booklet with drawings which represents my key thoughts for the last 5 years of my artistic journey.

How did working with Art Byte Critique help you prepare your work?
To be honest I wouldn’t have been able to make it without being with ABC. I had this willingness of book-making all the time but when it comes to the content creation things get quite tough. For me, the get together became a good deadline for the initial sets of drawing, and warm and encouraging comments from ABC artists on that day fuelled me so much to finalise a book in the next 10 days.

What do you take away from this experience?
One thing I am happy about is the fact that I was able to make a book which is very meaningful to my own development. Secondly, I am feeling grateful to have such a supportive and inspirational individuals around me.

Thoughts Collection by Yuko Kamei (inside pages view)
Thoughts Collection by Yuko Kamei (inside pages view)

What did you learn from the process of preparing for the show?
In terms of TABF display preparation, I was not able to do much due to my current job circumstances. So I just would like to thank you all for making it happen.

Why do you make books?
I like thinking about exhibitions, and I take books as one of such platforms. Structurally it has a distinct linearity but at the same time it can expand and collapse in area. Book format works for me sometimes to give a shape to my floating ideas.

If you are interested in Art Byte Critique, you can find out more at https://atobaito.wordpress.com or check out their Facebook page.

You can find out more about Yuko Kamei and her work at: http://yuccak.net

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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And So It Begins: Tokyo Art Book Fair 2015

  Finally! After lots of preparation it’s set-up time for the Tokyo Art Book Fair. I’m super early because Hitoshi has a morning soccer game and if I wanted a ride I had to go early. Real early.

But I’m the first one here and I’m enjoying the quiet energy. I can’t wait to meet the other book artists and see the fruits of everyone’s hard labour.

This is the quietest it will be for the next three days.

  
Art Byte Critique is on the 2nd floor in room G-11. Hope to see you!

Dates: September 19th (Sat) through 21st (Mon, Holiday), 2015

Venue: 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

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2014: We’re In!

Yuki. Star-fold book. Inkjet print. Macro photos of snowflakes.
Yuki. Star-fold book. Inkjet print. Macro photos of snowflakes.
I just found out from a fellow Art Byte Critique (ABC) member that our application for the Tokyo Art Book Fair 2014 has been accepted. We’re IN! I’m super excited. This is a goal our group has been working towards for the last year. It’s been great to meet with members talk about art and book making and share projects and ideas. The people in ABC are great artists and wonderful people so I know this will be fun.

The event takes place on September 20-21 at the Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tohoku University of Art and Design GAIEN CAMPUS. We will be selling our books, zines and posters at a table.

Last year was a complete crush even until the last hour of the last day. I’m glad we’re a group so that we can take turns manning our table. This page will take you to our group blog and links to all the artists’ book. You can find my submissions at this page.

If you are a fan of Facebook, you can like our page here.

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