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    Julie Chen: Evidence of Compression. Flying Fish Press, 2001

Beautifully reimagining the book both textually and visually is Julie Chen

Posted by Catherine Gaffney,

Julie Chen, book artist and book arts educator, founded Flying Fish Press in 1987 in Berkeley, California, and has been producing unbelievably amazing bookworks ever since. Exploring the sculptural and interactive potential of the book form, she challenges and literally re-shapes our notion of what a “book” can be, both writing and illustrating her projects, endowing both textual and visual elements with further layers of meaning by the way in which they are physically assembled.

There is usually a celebration of the reader-as-user, with interchangeable structural elements incorporated into its meaning. Personal Paradigms works like a board game, while True to Life allows the reader to make a selection from a range of options. Full Circle and Glimpse, meanwhile, have little windows which reveal the various combinations of words and images, as chosen by the viewer. Chen often designs digitally, but each work is letterpress printed and hand-bound. The result is a playful array of limited-edition publications that celebrate craft and physical presence as much as the fluidity of meaning.

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    Julie Chen and Barb… : Ode to a Grand Staircase. 2001

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    Julie Chen: Bon Bon Mots, 1998.

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    Julie Chen: Full Circle. Flying Fish Press, 2006. Edition of 100

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    Julie Chen: Full Circle. Flying Fish Press, 2006. Edition of 100

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    Julie Chen: Personal Paradigms – A Game of Human Experience. Flying Fish Press, 2004. Edition of 100

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    Julie Chen: Personal Paradigms – A Game of Human Experience (detail). Flying Fish Press, 2004. Edition of 100

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    Julie Chen: The Answerbook – A Guide to Higher Learning. Flying Fish Press, 2009. Edition of 100

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    Julie Chen: World Without End. Flying Fish Press, 1999

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    Julie Chen: True to Life. Flying Fish Press, 2006. Edition of 100

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    Julie Chen: True to Life (detail). Flying Fish Press, 2006. Edition of 100

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    Julie Chen: Invented Landscape

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    Julie Chen and Barb Tetenbaum: Glimpse. Triangular Press/Flying Fish Press, 2011. Edition of 100

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Posted by Catherine Gaffney

Catherine joined us as an editorial intern after studying at Trinity College Dublin and Central Saint Martins. She wrote for the site between June and August 2012.