Order – The Story of Fangyuan Bookshop
Guangxi Fine Arts Publishing House
Design: Li Jin
Print: Beijing Artron Art Printing Co., Ltd.
A fascinating book block: Japanese binding creates a beautifully soft bundle out of the creamy, blossom-light paper. Cover pages made of synthetic raffia in a dull, olive green protect the almost square book in portrait format. Red writings and drawings are printed on the spine and tail edge – like a summary of the content. The extra-wide rear section enables four mini-books on the left of the grey binding string that holds everything together. They flash by at your fingertips in a kind of flip book, where the caricature faces seem like characters. In the main book, the light and airy interaction between text and image is astounding. What freedom! The script is written both horizontally from left to right, and also vertically from right to left. The visual principle of script and sketch allows both of these to signify meaning in merely different states of matter. The whole page itself appears as if in a third, abstract state – with a generous top edge and gutter margin, with the controlled relationship between printed and unprinted space – and seems like a super-character. All aspects of this book – material, characters, printing, binding – are organic. The printed verso pages – still closed at the front by the fold – serve up additional content like an unopened fruit. As if the growth of such books were without intention.