What is art?
Picasso said that art is an imaginary that enables us to achieve reality.
And when art falls on specific paper, porcelain or objects, these "real hypotheses" also become another kind of reality, but not everyone can understand it.
Whenever I walk back and forth to a certain exhibition, I often feel that art is something that users cannot easily understand. Watching bright or dim colors collide on the canvas, to be honest, it is very difficult to directly resonate with the creator in spirit. Even if "there are a thousand Hamlets out of a thousand people," some people still want to get closer to the founder's Hamlet.
Unfortunately, few exhibitions have such an opportunity to let you and the creator one-on-one and get you close to the creator's "Hamlet".
The BIGGER Book Fair gave us such an opportunity. It is not like a normal exhibition that takes ten steps to see a work, and the arrangement of intervals presents a sense of high-level. The art creators of the BIGGER Book Fair sit behind a table with art books created by themselves or their friends in front of them. When encountering books that are of interest, they want to talk to the creators about its background story or the creator’s own ideas. .
Faced with over a hundred art books/works, some editors "relaxed" beyond their budget. When I went there, I had the original intention of seeing the world and chatting. When I came back, I had a bill of more than 1,000 yuan and several beautifully designed and distinctive art books.
Fortunately, although the wallet has some losses, the gains are not small. The editor of Aifaner has gotten closer to many creative creators, and we also want to tell you their creative stories.
Fang Jiawen, the person in charge of the Feel Good column:
Before we set off, we can predict that most of the stall owners who make products on site will also "use love to generate electricity." Therefore, when we heard the Te Magazine stall owners say that they are no longer losing money, it was a pleasant surprise.
"Te" was the first annual magazine I saw at the exhibition that made people feel urge to buy, and it was also one of the few works that could be called an "independent magazine" on site.
This magazine was born out of the fractured sense of home isolation.
In 2020, co-planner Kechun Qin went home from studying abroad. She was caught in an epidemic, trapped in isolation, and disconnected from the outside world, which made her feel uncomfortable. This magazine is an outlet as well as a "starter"-talking with others, and taking the opportunity to use the "excuse" of interviews to talk to the favorite artists that I have known before.
Out of editorial instinct, I usually turn to the copyright page, table of contents, and author list first when I get a book.
Although this issue of the magazine takes the seemingly common and broad topic of "food" as the theme, it has added the positioning of "The Lost Society" on it, which can be said to echo the emotional tendency of losing connection, and at the same time. Brings a more "curious" orientation to an ordinary topic selection.
"Betel nut" from the perspective of anthropology, "oyster" as creative material, disappeared "food carving", recipes of Chinese Miao chefs, Ewenki wine culture…
Each of these topics is unconventional, at least for half an hour to Google.
In terms of production, although the cover of the magazine is not very attractive to me who love bright colors, the layout of the text does not squander the readability for the sake of design, and the paper is also very particular.
Among them, in order to echo the theme of the magazine, the page of the catalog uses paper mixed with tea slag-"This paper is very expensive, so we can only use it on these two pages."
▲ Paper mixed with tea leaves
Preparations will begin in December 2020, and it will be officially published in October this year. I printed 2,000 copies, priced at 180 yuan/book, and sold them in bookstores in many countries. They are now nearly sold out and the cost has been flat (guess it should only be the printing cost?).
Many of the stall owners who talked about it said that they are people with official positions, and they really do because they like it.
But liking this seems too unanswerable.
It may also be my personal problem. The works that attract me to read are often relatively "content" works. Perhaps it is a ridicule of anxiety and hardship (see the "Leek Book" purchased by several editors of our company), or It is to record the beautiful details in life.
Moreover, many of the exhibitors are from well-known advertising companies and former curators. Even the illustrators who are now relying on commercial illustrations will clearly say, "Commercial is what the client asks me to paint. What?-I therefore decided not to reason rigorously. Creation itself is an alternative behavior to relieve emotions and make up for unsatisfied creative desires.
Of course, from the point of view of "practical" value, these creative products can also become part of the "collection", but the more important meaning-self-recognition should be realized in the creative process.
Perhaps, for social animals, lying flat may bring relief from physical discomfort, and creation is the antidote to restore energy.
▲The internal part of "Te" has also changed 2-3 different paper products according to the theme of the article
Tomorrow’s Life Column Manager Wu Zhiqi:
I may be the person whose company exceeds the budget the most. I spent more than 1K on this book fair. Although 1K is not a few books, it still feels rare. Also rare, I talked to 6 creators who explored art books and listened. Their ideas, ideas, and precious stories.
Yu Shaoyan Art Studio has made a series of self-published art books. Yu Shaoyan insists on creating his own artist archives and regularly organizes the content of each artist at different ages and stages. One phenomenon he mentioned is that few artists and art museums in China would do such a thing.
What I have to complain about is that many designers, photo books, and artists are now selling some peripheral products. I still hope that more and more people produce content that can be made into hand-made things, which can be sewn and glued. Bring it to everyone and communicate with each other. We should use our works to communicate, instead of making all kinds of good-selling and cheap peripheral products, and then go to stalls or enter the market. This actually violates our original intention of doing art book fairs. It is actually an exchange. Platform.
We need to gradually improve the domestic collection system, instead of just thinking that this book is a commodity, it is bought for fun. These art books are in limited quantities. They are more expensive and have a small quantity. They are not commodities. They are not sold in quantity. They are not discounted during the New Year. They are signed and numbered and are items that can be appreciated.
▲ Yu Shaoyan Art Bookshelf
Impressively, there is also an independent artist discussing Shang Liang. He started doing his own independent content in 17 years, so he had a project of 1,000 iPhone selfies. It sounds a bit strange creation, but he said–
When the French Le Monde reporter interviewed me, I thought of a sentence: When I point the camera towards the world, it is easy to lose myself. When I point the camera towards myself, it is possible to see the world clearly.
▲ iPhone selfie project
He also has a work called tomorrow will be better. We discussed about 30,000 or 40,000 stickers related to slogan, and posted them in urban spaces around the world. They will interact with passers-by for secondary tampering and cause a lot of dissemination on the Internet.
This is because I feel that in our current environment, personal expression in public space is lacking. The streets are full of commercial advertisements or slogans, but the streets belong to everyone, and we can have a certain space for personal expression.
Liu Lingge, the principal of APPSO:
Jiang Jiaxin referred to brooches, refrigerator magnets, and brochures as the "oldest three of the surrounding classics." In September of this year, he produced a new year's calendar. In fact, there are quite a few stalls selling calendars, but I was still attracted by a glance. Both himself and his works are very eye-catching. This kind of bright, straightforward and humorous thing is too popular.
There are a lot of people in the book fair, and we don’t want to delay the stall owner’s business. My communication with Jiang Jiaxin is almost based on my tenacious insistence that I keep turning sideways to give way, and even put forward "I spend 50 yuan on a painting of you, and you will give me one. "Story", he happily agreed, so I took out the video on my mobile phone and listened to him share some fragmentary feelings.
▲ Jiang Jiaxin's booth
"American Comic Strip" records the story of Jiang Jiaxin studying, working and living in the United States from 2013 to 2018. The first work was completed in the fall of 2016, and the 30th work in the series was just finished in August 2021. It is expected to be completed in total About 50 sheets. Jiang Jiaxin is currently preparing an animation for "American Comic Strip".
One of the paintings recorded his New Year's Eve scene alone in Times Square, New York, on December 31, 2014. It belongs to the third painting in the "New York" series and was completed this year. This painting is his proud work, spanning many years, the final presentation of this painting is also different from the original.
The red hat in the lower left corner is his image in 2014, and the black one is his outfit when he finished the painting. He didn't give much explanation for the girl's back. What he said was that he wanted to use these two villains to "express my everlasting love and the guilt in a memory."
▲ "American Comic Strip" works
APPSO editor Zhou Yu:
What impressed me a lot during the exchange was Meng Jie, the principal of the NICOLE X BOOK studio. Unlike traditional photography books that focus on display, Meng Jie also hopes that audiences can view photography in a more interactive format, such as scratching music, scratch pads, and other forms.
All of their paper works are displayed in a strongly interactive form. The reason why this "Bound Book" is designed to resemble a sticky note, after the audience tears one page apart, the next page is a huge title For example, there is a person walking on the edge of the mountain, which will prompt people to form a specific visual image in the brain. When the audience opens the next page, the photo will contrast with the previous image in the brain, subverting the audience's imagination. I have also asked them if they have ever thought about creating or selling these photography techniques electronically.
We actually tried to make works based on mobile phones and other electronic media, but we gave up later. For example, if you look at this scratching music work, everyone has different choices for the action of scratching. Some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder will scratch very cleanly. , Some people only scratch a little bit, and some people even choose to create with the action of scratching. Electronic media such as mobile phones cannot provide such a deep interactive operation.
▲ "Bound Book"
Ai Faner editor Huang Zhijian:
At the book fair, I met Artron designer Zhuo Wei, one of the leading art printing houses in China (perhaps none). Their printing house once published Apple's "Designed by Apple in California".
As a printing company, they have had in-depth cooperation with many artists and commercial brands. According to him, some independent creators often lack experience in printing and typesetting when making personal books, and they cannot fully integrate artistic ideas into the final design. Artron can help independent creation through professional design, editing and production teams. The author puts these ideas on the ground.
▲"Designed by Apple in California"
In his view, art books are a small but passionate circle as a whole. In the past, there would be more book fair opportunities in Beijing and Shanghai, and the atmosphere should be stronger. Now cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen are also beginning to rise slowly, and their development is quite fast. It's just the public's awareness of art books that still limits their development.
Art books have higher production costs and higher printing costs than ordinary books, and their average unit price is higher. For example, Apple’s design books cost thousands of dollars. In fact, its cost is also very high, but many readers do not If you don't understand this, you will easily be afraid.
After talking about it as a whole, in fact, I was most impressed by the design of the art book. Many art books have designs that need to be flipped, touched or even destroyed to convey information. This kind of experience of conveying information through real interaction is lacking in digital media, that is, you can't see it online.
Ai Faner editor Zhang Chengchen:
The scene overturned many of my impressions of photography books and art books.
Kazuki Sunshine, the author of "Where I Passed", said to me, "Taking a career path, photography books are a way to be known by more people. But when they are not well-known, it costs a lot to sell them. Yuanyi is not profitable at all, just to let more people know about itself. Once it has a reputation, the photography book can be profitable."
He represents the "Rainbow Series" photo book. This series is edited by Liu Zheng. The editing fee is 6,000 to 8,000 yuan. In addition to the cost of film selection, 100 yuan is the guarantee.
▲ "Rainbow Series" photo book
The water-stone image and what I said also confirm this statement. "Photobooks are not profitable and can not make much money. The cost is very high, more than 200 books, editing, design, binding, printing, and paper are all particular. In fact, I have to add 3 years of time costs."
Guangdong Times Art Museum’s "Pulse Response 1" is still at a loss when it sells 80 copies, because the printed products are more than 80 yuan. Fortunately, the art museum is a non-profit organization. They have sponsors, board of directors and social resources, and they will support the public welfare undertakings of art.
▲ Water and stone images
However, the two photographers I talked to didn't seem to be very anxious about the loss and profit of art books. "Like" is an important factor to support them in doing these things. These books are limited editions, and photographers will become famous in the future, and they may not want to buy them. Nowadays, more and more young people like photography. What Kazuki Sunshine said when communicating with me can be shared with everyone.
The threshold of photography is very low and it is easy to make progress, but it is difficult to do well. It's difficult to rely on photography alone to eat, but the top-notch may be okay.
Liang Xiaoli, the leader of the Navigator column:
Probably the wind in the meta universe was blowing too hard. The moment I saw "Leek Book" at the @怪兽工坊 booth, my heart was hit.
It was a thin art book with only 10 pages. The style was simple, straightforward and lovely. The protagonist is a very good-growing leek, telling how he was harvested one crop after another in his life.
▲ "Leek Book"
The staff at the booth told me that the illustrator of The Book of Leek was an Internet employee and was cut with leeks when he bought acrylic plants on Taobao. After learning from the pain, she decided to paint this experience in a self-deprecating tone. I paid almost without thinking about it.
My friend, it's so rare, this is an immersive experience of being cut leek!
Although the artist himself did not arrive at the scene, the moment when WeChat reminded that "payment was successful", my empathy with her reached its peak. The regret, anger, and helplessness of being cut leek quickly passed from person to person. With this ridiculously thin book that can be read in 3 minutes, I, an ordinary passerby, seem to have become a part of art, and at this moment I become the most well-deserved vegetable on the surface, Super Leek.
All this, only 129 yuan!
▲ Super Leek
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