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

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: 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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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

Pop-Up Practice

Thinking of various books to make this summer and I’ve always been interested in making a pop-up book.

I like the challenge of the pop-up and because I didn’t know anything about it I bought a book. There’s a lot of geometry involved which is fine, but I’m finding that just folding the paper in a kind of Tim Gunn make-it-work fashion is getting better results for me.
This is my first test page. Because a pop-up is all about the motion I made it into a small video. Which gave me another challenge. I wanted music but didn’t want to use copyrighted stuff or search for free music. So another test and trial– using GarageBand to make a mini soundtrack. I spent more time trying to figure out how to use the app, but when all is said and done, I think it’s not a bad effort for being all made on my phone.

Without further ado, Octopus Pop-Up:

Random Photos from TABF 2015

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2015 and Kanna Art Festival 2015

It’s been a busy and great art time for me. I’m showing work at two locations. The Tokyo Art Book Fair and the Kanna Art Festival in Onishi Gunma.

The TABF 2015 has been a lot of fun. I’m at a table with the Art Byte Critique Group. I’m exhibiting some work from last year (Estello) and some new books that I made for this fair.

   
 

New work for this year are the 8-Fold books of poetry and illustration.

   
 I also made stab binding  books of holgaroid (a Holga with a Polaroid adapter) photos I did of Minato-Mirai area.

  

At the Kanna Festival I’m showing some pinhole camera photographs I took while snowshoeing in Zao, Yamagata.

   
 

The Kanna Autumn Art Festival runs until Sunday night, September 27 in Onishi, Gunma. Details on the Shiro Oni website.

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2015: Q and A with Karin Gunnarsson

The Tokyo Art Book Fair is nine days away. This is the second in a series of interviews with fellow Art Byte Critique members to introduce their work and talk about the show.

Name: Karin Gunnarsson (Nomura)
From: Sweden
Time in Japan: 16 months
Education: MA Photography Royal College of Art London
Occupation: Artist and Japanese Language Student

How long have you been making books?

This is the first artist book that I am showing in public. As for developing the craft I have in the past made hardcover notebooks.

What is your favorite kind of books to make?
I get a great sense of achievement in making a hardcover handbound book.

Plato's Plates by Karin Gunnarsson
Plato’s Plates by Karin Gunnarsson

Do you have favorite materials to use?
I like a book that is interesting and feel exclusive to the touch. The Plato’s Plates book is all in paper with subtle tactile variety, as this was the most suitable option for the project. But I am really fond of using a textile on the cover and a contrasting paper texture and colour for the cover pages inside.

What is the biggest challenge for you when you make a book?
Not rushing

What kind of books are you making for this fair?
I am making one hardcover handbound book in a limited signed and numbered edition and one saddlestitched simpler version of the same book. The book is called Plato’s Plates and  tells a story of transformation and transcendence through a character in a punctured paper suit.

Image from Plato's Plates by Karin Gunnarsson
Image from Plato’s Plates by Karin Gunnarsson

Do you have any advice for people coming to the book fair?
Based on my experience as a visitor last year; allow plenty of time for your visit, comfortable shoes, a strategic plan to navigate the fair and take plenty of breaks as it is quite overwhelming to see so many beautiful and inspiring books. And of course plenty of change and that extra note for that very special object of desire.

Links
https://www.facebook.com/gunakau
www.karingunnarsson.com

Time and Location Details
The Tokyo Art Book Fair is held from September Saturday 19 – Monday 21 (holiday)
at 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

You can read about Art Byte Critique artist Lyle Nisenholz here.

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