牧书计划 Book Nomad

 

 

The “Book Nomad” project is an initiative of abC (art book in China) Art Book Fair. Since the pandemic, abC has continued to cooperate and exchange with the global art publishing communities actively. Through projects such as “abC Online Art Book Fair” and “Book Reunited Nations,” abC continues to introduce overseas publications to Chinese readers, trying to bridge the information and cultural gap caused by objective conditions.

Under the curatorial theme of “Nomadic and Imagined,” the 7th abC Art Book Fair plans to launch the “Book Nomad” project to explore the possibilities of independent publishing and distribution through self-practice. We hope to bring cutting-edge, independent art publications from China and other countries and regions to global readers in a curated manner.

Focusing on “Asianness,” with the theme of “Nomadic and Imagined,” the project will select a collection of art publications, which will be sent to the next destination by logistics.

 

2nd stop of the Book Nomad:

 

 pon ding

No. 6, Ln. 53, Sec. 1, Zhongshan N Rd.,Taipei 10441, Taiwan
+886 2 25377281

pon-ding.com
fb: pondingspace
insta: @pondingspace

Tropical Reading: Photobook and Self-Publishing

Author: Liu Chao-tze, Lin Junye

Publisher: pon ding &  Fotobook DUMMIES Day

2022

 

Tropical Reading: Photobook and Self-Publishing is divided into three parts: a) artists; b) art bookstores; c) photobooks and self-publishing scenes; plus, an appendix and an index of ten cities. A bilingual publication, the English version reads from left to right; the Chinese version right to left. 
 
The first section illustrates the photography practitioners and artist collectives from each city in Southeast Asia, examining why they chose to get into self-publishing. The second section explores the ways in which independent art bookstores came to be the social parlors of the self-publishing crowd. The third section island-hops between the photobook and self-publishing phenomena of recent years, observing how the outsider artists, archives and arts initiatives of Southeast Asia came to shape the face of photography and self-publishing in their respective cities. As an appendix, “So, Why Photobook?” explores the changing meaning of the term “photobook” in different linguistic contexts, the myriad of links between the term and the physical object – and ultimately, why exactly we do photobooks.  
The final part of the book, the index, is a compilation of our project field research, condensing the profiles of all the interviewees – from people to bookstores to organizations – to make a kind of alternative Yellow Pages for the Southeast Asian art scene.  
 

 

PICNIC

Author: Wu Meichi

Publisher: pon ding

2021

 

As a metaphor of earthly feasts and scenery, this photobook “PICNIC” explores the relationship and fetters between people, through artist Wu Mechi’s obsession with objects.
 
This time, Wu Meichi uses still life images to express abstract emotions. She observes that no matter if the power is equivalent or not, we must get used to and maintain peace, even though it is sometimes partially forced or violently forced to accept kindness by others.Starting with a private picnic date, she created a series of splendid collage images to symbolize the process of emotional changes between people at unpredictable moments; maybe it’s due to the weather, the tone, or perhaps it’s not for any reason. She accepts the fact that people’s psychological state is not controllable, which made her turn into the image creation world of collage and landscaping.In the process of unbridled creation, she has regained the possibilities of picnics. Under the little picnic mat, despotism, hesitation, sorrow and joy, impermanence…etc. is buried within. It is hard to experience the feelings until you encounter the scenario in person.

 

 

write a poem

Author: yo yang

Publisher: DOOKS 

2021

 

 

 

A Firetime Story

Author: Eva Lin

Publisher: dmp editions

2021

 

The art project, The Hidden South, is an experiment that has Taitung’s indigenous townships in the South-link region as a starting point and brings contemporary art into an unknown realm to facilitate exchange with and learning from the local culture. “The south” in this context does not refers to the geographical south. Instead, it beckons a deeper spiritual world that emerges from our connection with nature when we are given an opportunity to leave existing knowledge and logic behind to perceive the world rather with bodily senses and memory.

In the village, we often make a fire. Upon seeing the fire, it feels like that we are finally home. The power of fire not only kindles the life of civilizations, but also manifests two completely different states; it is an imagery of interweaving virtuality and reality as well as a medium that connects heaven and earth. Most of the stories and ideas in The Hidden South were born around the fire; and this is the origin of the book title, “a firetime story.” My experience of “the hidden south” has been a certain diverse and heterogenous oscillating process between past and present, tradition and innovation as well as myths and histories. Through The Hidden South, it is hoped that people could regain the ability to connect with nature, dreams and reality, preserving the fleeting inspiration within a rational mind.

 

The Three-Body Problem

Author: Huang Jia

Publisher: pon ding

2019

 

 

Some examples from the Book Nomad booklist:

The Three-Body Problem

Author: Alain Chenciner

Publisher: Yanshu

2021

 

It is not an ordinary popular science book. It is an experiment, an experiment to see the enigmatic universe through the fog of words.

This book originated from a lecture on the three-body problem given by French mathematician Alain Chenciner in Chinese at Capital Normal University in 2018. With Professor Alain's notebook prepared for the lecture as the main body, together with the lecture PPT and Alain's cartoon collection, it constitutes a special book on mathematics, history, and re-examining meanings through language.

 

The Blind Men and the Elephant

Author: Xiao Longhua

Publisher: 1 and Half Atelier

2019

 

The Blind Men and the Elephant is the proposition creation of Xiao Longhua. The story in this picture book comes from old Buddhist sutras. You will see four born blinds came from "Mirari" Kingdom. They were trying to comprehend an elephant only by touch. After the King Mirror got the results from the four blinds, he transformed the huge elephant into a lightweight butterfly. It was a dramatic and touching moment. The butterfly began to dance and transform kaleidoscopically and endlessly. The cover is hided in blue. When you touch this area, the blue will fade away. Touching is the thread of the whole story, and also an important revelation of transforming. In the last opposite page, you can take down the four shapes of paper on it . While reassembling the various parts freely, you will take your own experience of the touching moment.

 

Cao Fei: HX

Author:Cao Fei

Publisher:The Pavilion, Serpentine Galleries

2020

 

Cao Fei: HX  takes Cao Fei's studio, the former Hongxia Theatre, as a starting point, and expands out into neighbouring Jiuxianqiao and Dashanzi Districts. The theatre was built during a period of intense industrial development throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s.Working like an archaeologist, Cao Fei seeks to propose alternative versions of the theatre and its history, as neither the narrative of China's electronic industry nor the life and fate of an entire generation has been fully explored until now. The HX project has become an ambitious time-space complex, and the resulting publication developed alongside the project has taken shape over the course of this long-term research.

The publication follows its own logic and rhythm, acting as a counterpart to the artworks that Cao Fei created as part of the project. The images selected for this publication are compiled in the form of an 'atlas' that creates an alternative narrative: the visual materials originate from the research process of Cao Fei, who has collected them from different resources, including family albums of local residents, illustrations of publications and periodicals, archival materials of institutions, and works of photographers. These visual materials and the texts are interwoven, which renders a montage-like visual rhyme throughout the publication.

51 Tan

Author:A chronicler

Publisher51 Personae, Lee Chun Fung

2021

 

51 Tan, or 51 street stalls, is an ongoing documentation project by one of the participants of the 51 Personae project, as part of the 11th Shanghai Biennale 2016–2017. The author’s drawings and sketches outline her observations of these stalls, scattered around Shanghai, from the perspective of a customer or a passer-by, noting details of their set-up, rationale of their design, materials used, spatial strategies and even conversations overheard – and form a subtle and human record.

It is hard to find a word in English that encompasses all the meanings of tān (摊). Words like vendor, stall (owner), peddler or hawker are either too static or too transient for the title to describe these street-smart mobile retail outlets or service providers that thrive outside of the official and regulated dimension of our cities but are inherently part of a city’s make-up.

In the fall and winter 2016, when the author was working on 51 Tan, the number of street vendors on Shanghai’s streets were declining quickly because of new urban administration policies and their powerful enforcement. The unexpected change made it much harder to collect content and she stopped at 39. When the book was first published in 2019, many of the stalls featured can no longer be found, for street hawkers, whose business depends on the fleeting trust of people on the move, are also the easiest and most visible targets in campaigns to tidy up the cityscape.

 

Poem Three Piece

Author: Chang Yuchen

Publisher: Yuchen Chang

2021

 

This book is a house with four rooms: three poems written by Yuchen occupy three rooms; the word “poetry” translated into coral - a written language that Yuchen has been developing, plus a small piece of wrapping paper, occupy the fourth room.
Poems were written during Yuchen’s participation in the workshop series /Poetry/Race/Form hosted by Fan Wu and Zoe Imani Sharpe, in 2020 on zoom.

c-site.3 : Other

Author: da大 in print

Publisher : da大 in print

Design : ori.studio

2021

 

c-site (c = conversation) is based around an interdisciplinary discussion surrounding a singular topic, exploring it in physical and metaphysical terms. It has been removed from the typical interviewer/interviewee archetype. Rather, it has been formatted to take place in a sequential manner (a → b) , (b → c) … (j → a) where participant (a) will ask a question to participant (b), who after answering will ask a question to the next person down the list (c), so as to achieve a more natural and autonomous form of dialogue. 

Our ultimate goal is to analyze the nature and potential of a topic by combining the perspectives of people from various backgrounds, experiences, and ways of thinking, thus maximizing the scope of peoples understanding and ways of thinking.

Other -

A pupa lies dormant within its cocoon, generating a detachment between it and the external environment. From the perspective of this fragile pupa, branches full of natural fragrance, the rolling in of a dense fog, and coarse earth all belong to what can be described as ‘other’.

This tiny cocoon is recorded by dew in the form of a reflected image, and looking from the perspective of this reflection the universe itself becomes ‘other’.

This phenomenon could be generated manually by photographing the present moment, as the past and future would therefore become ‘other’. This would also be true for the gaps which lie between one single point of time to the next.

Following this line of thinking which is based on the dimension of time, the dimension of space can be regarded as ‘other’.

If we create in our own imaginations a unique space within which our consciousness can wander, all outside of this dreamt world can be referred to by using the word ‘other’, as can the the parts within the space which we don’t actively realize. The scale, distance, shape and complexity of ‘other’ is also constantly disturbed by the addition of new objects or by a change in scene and context. 

Can ‘other’ exist at the same scale as a single cell? Can a subject coincide, replace, or influence ‘other’ from its own perspective? What are the differences in perspective from inside and outside in regards to ‘other’? If boundaries are blurred, how can we define what is ‘other’? Can the space (or interlaced relationship) between ‘other’ and a subject be observed? How many instances of ‘other’ can be generated through fixed-point observation? How can we distinguish ‘other’ from the white space which surrounds it? Can the original nature of things and the nature of ‘other’ be switched? Are there a variety of methods in forming ‘other’? From our own perspectives, can the phenomenon of ‘other’ be described as an illusion? Can ‘other’ in relation to time coexist with ‘other’ in relation to space?

Inter-Asia Self-organized Woodcut Mapping III: Institution and Beyond

Author: 51personae

Published: Inter-Asia Woodcut Mapping

2022

 

The third issue of ”Woodcut Zine“ focuses on the idea of "institution" as to explore the relationship between self-organized practice and official institution. In the context of contemporary art, the term "institution" generally refers to art galleries, exhibitions, or art organizations run by the government or large-scale capital. Yet, from a conceptual level, it can also refer to a way of organization or existing ideologies that constructs intangible power in the society. Here, is the self-organized woodcut practice and "institution“ an absolute binary relationship, or is it complementing each other?

paan#1 Crossing Fireline

Publisher: paan

Editor: JiaHui  

2020

 

Paan is an annual, bilingual independent journal dedicated to Asian cultural issues, features original writings of any kind and works on paper around a specific subject matter in each issue. 

Standing firmly from the Inter-Asia perspective, a group of writers and artists unite to strive to remove the thrombus from colonial history, the cold war through direct interaction with each other within Asia.

magazine into issue1:
MADE-LAND

Publisher: subfictions

Editor:  Xu Yishu

2021

 

MADE-LAND 制造地」1920s-’90s – 2021 -2050. 3 eras of Chinese furniture design in 3 volumes. magazine into’s issue #1 “MADE-LAND” presents the past, present and future of Chinese furniture design in three separate volumes.  In “MADE-LAND 2021”, we discuss the status quo and challenges encountered by design thinking involved in traditional Chinese manufacturing. In “MADE-LAND 1920s-’90s”, we invited artist Lanqing Zhu to complete a set of visual creations, restore the simple emotions of Chinese families and furniture in the past few decades. “MADE-LAND 2050”, based on the development history of the past 30 years, we try to infer what Chinese design might be like in 30 years.

Monday OFF

Issue#1 Mí Mèi  

Mí: the pinyin of the Chinese character 迷, simply translated: ‘to be crazy about’ or ‘to lose one’s way’

Mí is deeply rooted in our life – the combination of our daily exclamations, the advertisement equals the sale – mí is both an adjective and a verb. Mí is also a noun, anyone can participate in it, or even become it.

Monday OFF Issue#1 Mí Mèi explores the following issues - 

☻ #Fan Quan (fandom), a fangirl’s daily routine

∷ How to “raising” an idol - internet-based thinking and participatory star-making platforms 

➹ The D8 Expedition and "Little Pinkos"

* The collective identity construction of the online subculture population within the context of the 3rd Cyber-nationalism in China 

❧ Flesh Bots, inversed proxy politics, and realpolitik in the age of data flow

 

Monday OFF 

 Issue#2 Medical Cosmetology

The theme of MondayOFF Issue#2 is Medical Cosmetology, which explores what beauty is from the contemporary perspective of “becoming beautiful” with an anthropological eye. We start from the following questions - Is there such a thing as standard beauty? Could we understand that medical cosmetology is a sign that beauty is becoming more of a medical element, evolving beyond its traditional definition, and the two-dimensional discussions about it? Are artists still the creators of beauty, or has this right been given to the invisible hands? Our cities are permeated with countless plastic surgery advertisements and social-influencer-driven economy, #MedicalCosmetology also investigates the drive for city girls’ happy yet painful pursuit of beauty, the undercurrents of the awakening of feminism, and consumer-driven economy based on our looks. Together with us, you can raise questions towards the human flesh, those who live in the filters, under the 3D scans, and those who receive diagnosis from AI doctors. In a way, aesthetics is breaking free from a hierarchy…

Prickly Paper 

Publisher: Ou Feihong & Chen Yifei 

Prickly Paper, a book for the toilet, was created in the exhibition "The First Borderless Architecture Season" at the Fei Art Museum in Guangzhou. The magazine was placed in the public toilet of a building in Guangzhou and later occupied several other places. And the name "Prickly Paper" in Chinese is a homonym of the Cantonese "toilet paper." The cover for each issue was made with woodblock prints by different artists, and the inner pages are printed by a home printer. The article submissions and layouts of each issue depend on the subject. Prickly Paper was presented in a rough hand-made style. The contribution collection and the magazine's format changes depending on the theme. And a dropbox was also be set up among the toilets. In the spring of 2020, Prickly Paper launched a special issue called The Story of Liu Sheng. Liu Sheng is a delivery man, who often delivers packages to staff in our editorial team. Later he became friends with the editor Chen Yifei on WeChat. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Liu Sheng was stuck in his hometown Xiantao in Hubei province and was unable to return to work. After scrolling through Liu's updates on his WeChat page, Yifei found that he makes a perfect narrator. Then he asked for Liu's permission to compile the contents he posted on the SNS platform and interviewed his friends and him. Yifei also invited past contributors to write responses to the interviews and made a special issue based on Liu Sheng's personal life.

Dispatches from TETRIS

A March from the highlands to the Mountain City and the Island

Publisher: IFP 

Editor: Song Yi

Contributors: Kalsang,Li Mu,Li Pengfei, Lobsang Tashi, Song Yi, Wang Jun, Yu-Chieh Li, Zhou Shiyan

138 × 188mm

Thread sewing

Spot color printing on the cover

Mixed binding of art paper inside

“TETRIS:A March From the Highlands to the MountainCity and the Island” (hereafter referred to as TETRIS)is a project initiated by Institute for Provocation (IFP),  a Beijing-based independent art space.

The Chinese title of the initiative,“Mount Buzhou,"is takenfrom the classic text Shanhaijing (Books of Mountains and Seas).The mythological Mount Buzhou was once a pillar between heaven and earth.The falling of Mount Buzhou resulted in the current topography of China as high in the north and west, low in the south and east.

From August 17 to September 1, 2020, dozens of artists, researchers, curators, and journalists embarked on a 15-day journey, traversing over 4300 kilometers to visit seven sites in China:Xining on the border of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; Yushu in the Kham Tibetan region; Lanzhou on theOld Silk Road; the outer suburbs, countryside, mountainsof Chongqing; and Guishan Island at the mouth of the PearlRiver.Along the way,IFP organized topical discussions, presentations, field trips, residencies, and improvisational sessions in the context of their respective natural and social environments that enabled participants to experience and discuss social issues such as ethnic segregation,  rural reconstruction, infrastructure fetishism in the field… …

24 Mails from the Railway

Author: Cheng Xinhao 

Publisher: Jiazazhi 

2020

 

December 1, 2019, Cheng Xinhao departed from Kunming. He decided to walk along the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway, of which the end is the ocean. During this journey, he picked up a piece of railway ballast for every kilometer, and sent one email to a fictitious friend X every night. Eventually, it took him 19 days to cover the part of the Yunnan of the whole railway, as long as 465 kilometers. The weight of the stone on his body reached more than 20 kilograms, and the amount of the mails was up to 24.

Through these texts and images left over a year ago, 24 Mails from the Railway tells the story of this journey: about the railway, about the land of Yunnan-personal stories once happening on this land, about the colonized history of two East Asian countries, about the modernization of the mountainous areas in Southeast Asia, and also about Cheng Xinhao’s childhood memories and geographical imagination, about his connection with his hometown and the region.

Tu Li Fu

Author: Huang Heshan

Publisher:Too Rich Group

2021

 

This work gradually builds a magical city that is expanding and a real estate developer, Tu Li Fu(Baldrick Rich). This real estate project aims to provide people anxious about urban consumption and life with a place to live in a first-tier city, with second-tier wages, third-tier consumption, and 18th-tier housing prices. The average rent of the apartment is 300 RMB per month, and the ceiling price is less than 100,000 RMB for purchase.

In hss's vision, the origin of Tu Li Fu is expected to form a world entrance of the meta-universe. "In the future, people will go to work in Tu Li City and find their home in the virtual world."

 

Author:

Publisher:

2021

 

 

Bagger Comics

Author: Yan Cong

Publisher: Yanshu 

Yan Cong's artistic life is mined from the lonely and dull times in his dorm room: he overcomes loneliness by sending his comics and vignettes to his online friends. The fictional landscapes and townspeople combine Yan Cong's own state of mind and childhood nostalgia or memories of his old homestead.

Yan Cong often uses inconspicuous tools as basic materials: ballpoint pens, newspaper collages, low-tech digital drawing tools, and even needles and thread. These simple raw materials reflect the artist's desire to return to a simple life. On paper of different sizes and textures, the mythical monsters' adventures unfold in his lonely world.

 

 

 

We are now looking for suitable destinations (any country/region) and curators/spaces willing to join in the project.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

The first edition of the “Book Nomad” project will focus on independent art publications related to “Asianness” and will be sent by logistics from Beijing to the next destination. We will invite the destination space to add 3-5 local publications to the book list and display the project for 1-2 weeks. After the exhibition, abC will coordinate the shipment to the next destination. The whole project will last for 1 year.

For those who wish to participate in this project – international art book fair organizers / independent art spaces focusing on art publishing / art bookstores with exhibition space – please send event / venue information to the project coordinator: Yaya Liu (yaya@artbookinchina.com)
For publisher or artist who would like to contribute books to this project, please send your publication information to the content director: Yue Zhou (yue@artbookinchina.com)

EXPENSES

Initiator | art book in China is responsible for
-Works related to information integration of publications, coordination, liaison, media promotion, etc
-Costs that may be incurred during the exhibition of this Project at abC Art Book Fairs, including but not limited to exhibition set-up, production, etc
-The cost for shipping the book cabinet (transnationally) to the next destination

Participant is responsible for
-Costs that may be incurred during the exhibition of the Project at the participant’s space, including but not limited to exhibition set-up, production, etc
-The cost for shipping the book cabinet (transnationally) to the next destination
(abC is willing to assist all participants in applying for subsidies from the relevant culture and art funds in their countries for the Project’s content.)

 

PRESERVATION AND DISPOSITION OF EXHIBITED PUBLICATIONS

abC expects that all exhibited publications will be well-preserved during the exhibition and shipping and intends to include these publications in the abC-initiated abCa (art book in China archive) after the itinerant tour. The archive specialist will contact each participant about the donation/purchase issues.

Please be aware that all exhibited books are at risk of being abraded, damaged, or lost during the itinerant tour. For this reason, we allow some of the exhibited publications to be displayed locally only, without participating in the subsequent tour, as the books may be rare or single-copy.

DISCLAIMER

-Please make sure all publications submitted to this project has obtained the prior consent from the copyright holder.
-Please make sure all images and text provided to abC are free of third party rights, meaning copyrights and personal rights.
-Please guarantee that it’s ok to use provided images and text, in full or in parts for:
the 2022 abC Art Book Fair Beijing/Shanghai printed catalogue;
abC Official Website: www.artbookinchina.com;
for advertisement purposes in the context of art book in China and other participators on our social media channels;
If any part has more authorizing requirements, please reconfirm via email.