Shredding a book comes with a load of unpleasant connotations—especially in 2023. This book, however, is not being censored, but is deliberately testing the limits (and patience) of the reader to accept novel printing and radical binding in the name of art. It is the catalog for The Center for Visual Arts Berlin exhibition Another Reading—Contemporary Book Design From China (March 24–May 12), which introduces 20 masters of the form who are currently working in Germany. Nearly 150 outstanding books with the finest Chinese printing and binding techniques are on hand for close viewing. Topics range from traditional crafts and Chinese character design to modern literature and contemporary art.
“Although they come from different regions of China and different generations, they are all passionate about book design,” says curator He Jumping, who also designed the exhibition’s shredded catalog below and other book projects from his studio in Berlin. “However, what they earn from book design does not match their passion and work. Looking at these wonderful designs, we all know that it is the charm of books themselves that has driven these lively and influential designers in contemporary China.”
This specific volume will test your resolve and force the question: What is a book? Is it reading, showing, or blowing apart convention?