Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Carving

Yeah, you read that right.

I got to see one of Long Bin-Chen's phonebook Buddhas at the San Antonio Art Museum recently. This is a very cool fellow, who is thinking outside the box.

Edit: wow! I thought it was weird when the article said "you've probably seen book carving before" (as I, you know, hadn't), but apparently this is actually a thing. Check out one or two more examples.


  1. Some of those, especially in that first set of examples in your edited part, are very cool. Sort of reminds me of one part of Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (which I just mentioned in your thread on FW) where the character is trying desperately to get to the rest of a book he'd heard only the first chapter of (which recurs over and over throughout the book) only to discover that another character has taken the only copy of the book, added shellac, and put it in a statue that, he claims, is the only future for books--not to be read but only admired.

  2. Referencing our previous discussion on my blog about art, this to me is art. It takes skill, talent, and artistic vision to bring these book sculptures to life. :)

    I also saw your previous post about street art. Some of those were really cool. Please keep posting links to the artistic finds you make. :)

  3. Daus- well, that's another one on what seems to be an increasingly insurmountable list of things to read. At least the trying is awesome!

    Diana- what got me about your original post- why I responded in the first place- was that I felt like you were making the blanket statement that artists no longer apply skill or artistic vision to what they create (I feel there are still traces of it in the above), and that the entire modern art industry is made of smoke, mirrors, and cliqueish pretense. As I said, that's not been at all my experience with it, even at its most pretentious. I've known individual bad artists, and people who were polite around them, but I think they always still believed in what they were doing.

    Mainly, I don't think there's really any need to make it an us vs. them thing- regardless of who one feels threw the first stone. I don't think there are actually teams, and I don't think it's a battlefield. I've certainly not personally observed an environment populated by adults where anyone is besieged on all sides for what they do or don't like. I have a good friend who tore through the twilight books, and though she knows I don't particularly care for them, I think she takes comfort in the fact that she's one of millions who loved that series, and that massive popularity is a validation in and of itself.

    But, yeah, I'm going to keep posting stuff, certainly. It's the sort of thing I love.