WEEKLY

BOOKS ARE ART
再續書緣

也許是時代變遷,很多人已不如從前般手不釋卷,常以讀書為樂。尤其是電子書越見小巧便利,令傳統書籍無聲無色地被淹沒。不知道大家上次手執一本書,咬文嚼字,又是多久以前的事? 面對潮流的巨浪,有一群香港的「書痴」依然故我,愛書惜書之餘,更於剛過去的10月份舉辦了第三屆香港書本藝術節。這一切,只為打破世俗對書本的刻板印象。

見書不是書
第三屆書本藝術節在賽馬會創意藝術中心(JCCAC)舉行,命名為「翻頁」,希望提醒人們放慢腳步,翻開書本,躍入書本背後的世界。書本藝術在香港所紮的根,尚未算深,因此策展人黃天盈Tiana幾年來一直孜孜不倦地推廣迷你書藝術、手造書工藝,以及獨立出版之精神。

何謂一本書?見書是書,書乃是由紙張疊合而成的物件,紙上印有文字,也有圖像;雖然大部分書都呈四方形,但偶爾也會碰上帶有不規則形狀的書,已可堪稱破格。然而,「書本藝術」卻是另一碼子的事。甫進入JCCAC展館內,本以為會看見許多四方形的書本陳列在一起,但事實不然。見書不是書,展館內的書都以非一般的姿態示人,有些用木頭堆砌而成,有些以多封信件湊合成故事,有些則利用布匹互相交錯出一個小空間。當中最令我印象深刻的「書」,便是來自日本的Hiroiyomi社的作品「訊息」。它把一首文學作品分成斷句,印在一張張小卡紙上,然後匿藏於沙中,試圖跟讀者來一場捉迷藏遊戲,甚是有趣。

在這裏,書是變幻無窮的。Tiana不以華麗的辭藻去解釋甚麼是「書本藝術」,因她認為每個人都可以為此下定義。一本書內有眾多元素,包括紙張、文字、材質等,每一個元素都蘊藏着無限可能。

另類裝幀 另一片風景
藝術家們對書本的概念和定義都不盡相同,但原來書的裝幀方法亦五花八門,盡顯創作者的美學角度。來自世界各地的書本藝術家在裝幀上極其講究,他們以獨特的釘裝方法,讓平面的書剎那間變成立體的擺設,活像手風琴一樣。他們亦會糅合不同的物料,諸如金箔、玻璃、乾花,使每本書都呈現截然不同的畫面,散發一縷藝術氣息。

扭蛋裏的學問
若你認為出版一本書是天大的難事,香港迷你書協會旗下的獨立出版計劃──《蛋誌》將會顛覆你固有的想法。只見一個個扭蛋梅花間竹地排列在牆上,輕輕一瞥,還誤以為是裝飾品。仔細再看,原來每個扭蛋都放置了用不同物料製成的迷你書,包括花生殼、Tempo紙巾等,玩味十足。在45毫米的扭蛋空間內,作家可以天馬行空地創作出一本書。Tiana巧妙地運用扭蛋的隨機性,意圖讓讀者接觸原本自己不會選擇的書種。「我希望透過《蛋誌》可讓大家多思考,別把自己困在框框內。書本以外,我們所見的事物,是否只有眼前的模式?」Tiana的目的很純粹,她只是期望人們能重新看待事物。

書是情緒的載體
書本與藝術,其實絕非風馬牛不相及之事。在我看來,書本不是死物,反而是用來盛載思想的生物。書可以是個忽發奇想的意念、夢醒後的感悟,也可以是一場與自己的對話。讀萬卷書,不如也創作一本書,把美好的書本文化傳揚下去。

撰文:王以珞
相片:《蛋誌》Facebook專頁、王以珞
美術:王曉澄

Living in the era of advanced technology, many people are no longer diligent readers who take great pleasure in reading. As electronic books become more convenient and compact, printed books are now being eliminated gradually. How long has it been since you last devoured a printed book? Despite the surge in electronic books, a group of bookworms in Hong Kong still persist in reading printed books. They organized the “Hong Kong Book Art Festival” in 3 consecutive years, so as to break our stereotypes of books.

A Book Seen is No Book Being
Named “Flip”, the 3rd Hong Kong Book Art Festival was held in Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC) in late October 2017, hoping to encourage people to slow down their paces and dig into the kaleidoscopic world of printed books. Book art is not so deeply entrenched in Hong Kong, and therefore Tiana Wong, the curator of the book art festival, has been working assiduously to promote miniature book art and the spirit of independent publishing in Hong Kong.

What is a “book”? According to our normal perceptions, a book is made up of a series of pages with words or pictures printed on them. Books are mainly in the shape of rectangles, yet there are also some of them with irregular shapes, which can already be considered as an attempt to break the conventions. However, “book art” can completely change our perceptions of what a book should look like. Entering the gallery in JCCAC, I once thought there would be a bountiful number of rectangular books there. But I was wrong. All the books displayed were different from what we envisioned—they were made by a pile of wood, letters, printed textile or even other materials. Of all the “books”, the most impressive one to me was called “Message”, created by Hiroiyomisha from Japan. All one could see were some fragmented words printed on small card papers, and they were placed randomly in the sand. In fact, Hiroiyomisha divided a literary work into small parts to allow readers to reconstruct the sentences. It was as if we were playing hide-and-seek with this special book.

All books in the exhibition were so dynamic that fostered the interaction between the readers and the book. Tiana never uses any flowery words to describe “book art”, since she thinks every individual has a unique definition of it. There are various components in a book including papers, words and materials. Each of them can lead to infinite possibilities.

Different Binding, Different Scenery
As mentioned above, different artist hold distinct concepts and definitions of what a book is. But not only concepts—different binding methods also give us a hint of the artistic visions of different artists. Book artists from all over the world pay close attention to bookbinding. A unique binding method can transform a 2-dimensional book to a 3-dimensional decoration, which to me looks like an accordion. With a beautiful blend of different materials such as gold leaf, glass and dried flowers, the book artists give new lives to books that filled the exhibition gallery with artistic atmosphere.

Books Inside the Gashapon
If you think publication is always a big thing, “eggwich”, the miniature zine independent publishing project will prove that you are wrong. In the exhibition, hundreds of gashapons were stuck on the wall alternatively. Inside the gashapons, there were some tiny books made by extraordinary materials including peanut shells and Temple tissues. The 45mm miniature book can nurture the creativity of the authors. Using the random dispatch of gashapon machines, Tiana aspires to encourage readers to read books different from their usual preferences. “I wish ‘eggwich’ will inspire everyone to think out of the box. Apart from books, is there only one way to perceive things in our daily lives?” Tiana’s purpose of organizing this projects is very explicit—she just wants us to see things in a different way.

Books Are Emotion Carriers
Book and art are inextricably linked. To me, a book is not an object, but a creature that carries our thoughts and feelings. What inspires us to create book? It could be a whimsical idea, a reflection of life, and even our monologues. Making a book on our own is not an impossible mission!

Text: Elok Wong
Photo: Facebook page of “eggwich”, Elok Wong
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #166

BOOKS ARE ART

 

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