Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms
Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms
Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms
Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms
Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms

Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms

Matsumoto Incorporated, New York, New York, 2010

Description

Project brief: This catalogue accompanied an exhibition by the artist Cai Guo-Qiang at the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in December 2009. There were four components to the exhibition: an explosion event that took place at the Philadelphia Museum on December 11, 2009, a group of drawings shown at the Philadelphia Museum, a gunpowder drawing at the FWM that commenced on the day the exhibition opened, and a group of tapestries that were woven at the FWM by Chinese weavers who worked on them for the duration of the exhibition. The exhibition was dedicated to the memory of Anne d’Harnoncourt, the late director of the Philadelphia Museum, who was a towering cultural presence in Philadelphia and for many years a close friend of the FWM director. Since most of the artworks were not completed at the time of the opening, the catalogue had to be designed after the exhibition ended.

Approach: Though most of the artworks were large scale, the theme of the exhibition—memory, loss and friendship—was intimate. We decided to make the book a small trim size instead of a large coffee-table-style catalogue to reflect the personal nature of the artworks in the show. For the jacket, end leaves and divider pages, parts of the artist’s gunpowder drawings (a technique whereby he makes a drawing on paper or fabric with gunpowder, then sets the gunpowder on fire) were reproduced at their original sizes. The cover was white silk cloth, very similar to the silk that the artist used for the drawing.

Effectiveness: The small size of the book combined with the tactile materials (silk bookbinding cloth, uncoated paper) communicated the exhibition’s intimate themes without diminishing the scale and drama of the artworks shown.

Juror Notes

Perfectly balanced integration of type and image gives this book an ethereal quality. The silk-cloth binding is a beautiful choice that complements the subject matter well. The small trim size and hard cover treatments are a nice choice for this museum catalogue.

Collections: 50 Books/50 Covers of 2010
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book
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