Does China Need Book Art?

“The art of the book” / books-as-art / artists’ books / “bookworks” / book-objects.... The realm loosely bounded by these terms is characteristically amorphous. Book art’s aura of intrigue and charm hinges on the intimacy associated with reading, combined with the nebulous potential of “art” and all this conjures for the individual mind. Objects, artworks, books: hybrid vessels of the unexpected that hover between reading, seeing, writing and making. Book art’s Western history can be charted from early beginnings with William Blake’s illuminated books, for example; at the turn of the 20th Century, "livres d'artiste" were endorsed by the inspired dealer Ambroise Vollard, who commissioned limited editions illustrated by artists. What has come to be understood less as a medium than a "genre" was expanded later by Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha, whose conceptual approaches in the 1950s and 60s cemented the will to explore, manipulate and deconstruct the book form in an artistic vein.

Contemporary Art