Thursday, 29 March 2012


... xianzhuang (thread binding) is the last and final stage in the development of Chinese bindings. Thread binding developed directly from baobeizhuang and dominated Chinese bookmaking since the Ming. The paper was now bound externally at the spine using a silk thread.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Words : SILLYBOI...

... (regardless of what you may think) is a Greek term for title tags, that were attached to the upper edge of the papyrus scroll. The titles and author's names were written at the end of the book, therefore the reader had to unroll the whole scroll before they reached the information. Sillyboi  (sillybos, sittybos) allowed the them to access this information quickly - much like reading the spine of a modern book.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Words : BAOBEIZHUANG 包背装 ...

... baobeizhuang (or wrapped back binding) is the last step from brutterfly binding towards the traditional Chinese book. Baobeizhuang developed from hudiezhuang. Pages were folded in half with the text facing outwards. They were then tied together to form a spine at the inner margin. The blank white disappeared into the inside of the fold, while on the outside text ran right to the edge.

Thursday, 15 March 2012


... hudiezhuang (or butterfly binding) from the end of the first millenium is the first Chinese binding style to feature separate leaves bound together at the spine, i.e. not attached linearly to each other (like scroll or concertina). This was achieved by folding a printed sheets of paper inwards and then attaching them together at the folded edge with paste, so that every second page spread was blank.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Accountancy has given the world...

... two great things.
One of them is writing
About 6 thousand years ago Sumerian accountants started writing down their dealings using signs, which they were later to develop into a phonetic linear system of writing. Quite astonishingly, writing continued to be used for accountancy and recording only, while the literary tradition remained oral. 

The other one is my husband.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Lines of Thought at Parasol Unit

Fred Sandback's almost shadowless sculpture suggests a near 2D experience.

Helene Appel, James Bishop, Hemali Bhuta, Raoul De Keyser, Adrian Esparza, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Jorge Macchi, Nasreen Mohamedi, Fred Sandback, Conrad Shawcross, Anne Truitt, and Richard Tuttle.

This exhibition explores the work, selected from the 1960s to today, of fifteen contemporary artists who either use line in creative and challenging ways or in whose finished work line has become a prominent element.

 An exhibition  exploring the use of line in contemporary art. A terrific concept! 15 artists have been invited to contribute to the show. The work includes 2D drawings and paintings,  a few 3D sculpture pieces and a book. On the first impression, the show feels quite restrained (especially upstairs!). Minimalist, might be the word. Or, grown-up. I did wonder how would Hayashi Yasuhiko + Nakano Yusuke  fit into it with their crazy toy train lines? Well - they would not.
Some people thought that the show bordered being boring. I think it is a safe, but an interesting show. It certainly allows the line to go upways and sideways, into 3D and back again (no video, though). You can see different contours of thinking that all result in employing the line for final expression. Adrian Esparza's has an un-knit blanket.  Jorge Macchi's maps river in concrete pieces.  Hemali Bhuta produced an astonishing wax formation made up entirely of vertical lines of wax.   Fred Sandback displays sculpture that looks like a drawing on a graph paper, that somebody has forgotten to colour in.

In addition, I found a remarkable Jorge Macchi's book La Ascensionon on the table at the reception. The book was for reference only, unfortunately. Any idea where to get one?

Hemali Bhuta. Tightly packed lines of wax that go down and down and down to produce an organic formation.

Adrian Esparza. Uravelled wool of a Mexican blanket resolved into a new structure of pattern and colour.

Jorge Macchi. Tevere cast in concrete, mapped on the concrete floor. Surprisingly light and fluid.

Jorge Macchi.
Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt. Enlarged fragments of passport paterns.
Conrad Shawcross. I am sure I have seen this one before. It was supplemented by a display of his pendulum drawings "Harmonic Drawings".

Silver balls in the garden. Desperately trying to be orderly. No idea who's work it is. Anybody knows?