Publishing a book in conjunction with an exhibition is important. An exhibition ends after a certain period of time and only remains in recordings like photos and videos but a book can have a life of its own even after the exhibition is gone. A book is a physical object that one can always return to.
Publishing “encounters” with Datz Press brought me a lot of opportunities that I didn’t anticipate. My intention was to turn my artist book into a more approachable book form so that people who showed interest in buying my artist book can finally own a copy.
The founder of Datz Press, Sangyon Joo received his MFA at San Francisco Art Institute. Since San Francisco is a city of book lovers, Ms. Joo was able to learn bookmaking and work in the industry while living in the Bay Area. When she returned to Korea in 2010, she founded Datz Press as a bookmaking studio, Datz Museum of Art as an exhibition venue, and Magazine Gitz as an interview magazine.
I was thrilled to find that Datz Press would make my accordion books in an edition of 100. Instead of one long individual piece I made, Datz’s staff divided the book into 11 sections and glued them and folded them. The final result was better than my original design. I included a small original print in each book.
Soon after my book was published, the manager at Datz Press introduced me to Book Arts Foundation that was looking for one more artist for a book fair. In February, “encounters” was displayed at Codex Book Fair in San Francisco Bay Area. A day before the book fair opening, Photo Alliance was having a symposium on photo books. Ms. Joo invited me to accompany her to San Francisco to attend Photo Alliance and Codex Book Fair. I went and it was great!
Now I am interning for Ms. Joo who assigned me to work on a project for Datz Museum of Art and Magazine Gitz. Both are planned for debut in October. The theme centers around Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. For the project, I have been reading and researching on Thoreau, Emerson, and John Muir. Since I feel a kinship with nature which reflects in my work, these readings are inspirational. I am enlightened by great minds of 19th and 20th century that have ever more relevance in our contemporary life.
In May, Datz Museum of Art will host an exhibition with five women artists who published books with Datz Press. The curator selected few of my prints from “Nightwalker” installation and my book will be on display as well.
Looking back, it is amazing to see how one thing led to another.