SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – Could a book without words be called a book? An experimental book called ‘A book from the Ground’ written by Xu Bing, the Chinese installation artist, has been launched in Korea.
Xu has released experimental artwork based on Chinese calligraphy. His work recreates tradition and adds a contemporary twist, placing him in the first generation of the ‘Chinese Avant-Garde’.
‘A Book from the Ground’ was released in 2012 and aroused an echo in regions such as America, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mexico. It is a piece that is in contrast with his former installation, ‘A Book from the Sky‘. ‘A Book from the Ground’ is an arrangement of 2,500 symbols and images that Xu collected from all over the world for seven years.
The contents are rather simple compared to the whimsical form. It is a story about an average office worker, Mr. Black, and the things that happen to him during a 24-hour period.
Xu explains his attempt to tell a story without words. “The people all over the world use hundreds of different languages and symbols. In an era like this, the traditional written language is meeting a challenge it has never seen in the past. Considering that a huge part of what current people read on their cell phones consists of symbols, the modern world is once again announcing the start of a hieroglyphic era.”
He avoided creating new symbols and only collected and organized already existing ones. His intention was for people all over the world to share different symbols, and to open up new possibilities for communication.
Hey Books is the Korean publisher of this experimental book that risks being a commercial disaster. However, Yoon Mi-gyeong, the head of Hey Books, explained the reason she decided to publish the book. “It’s not like I didn’t have any doubts about this book. Even the local agency in China asked me if I was really willing to do this. But I thought it was important for me to act out what I promised myself when I first started the publishing company. I wanted to give the world a stimulation that is unexpected and different from the pre-existing conditions.”
Yoon also commented that the book will give readers a chance to expand their imagination and creativity. “Ever since communication through the internet became common, a lot is said using emoticons. They are a very effective tool to express complicated emotions that cannot be delivered through words. This book could be a good brain teaser that stimulates emotions and intelligence.”
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)