When books are more than just a good read

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When books are more than just a good read


From top to bottom: “ctrl+c“ by Kim Kyung-hee; “Winter, Dream” by Park Jung-hyeon; visitors browse the displays at last year’s book arts fair at Seongnam. Provided by organizer

People say don’t judge a book by its cover, but actually the book can be a work of art in its own right.
Book art concerns the binding, typography, paper design and other traditional book-making processes. It also refers to the craft of taking a book and making it into an actual work of art.
The Seongnam Cultural Foundation will hold the Seongnam International Book Arts Fair from April 19 to 27 in Bundang at the Seongnam Arts Center and at the nearby Book Theme Park.
The fair was first held last year to mark the opening of the Book Theme Park, Korea’s first theme park solely dedicated to book lovers.
The park features book cafes, exhibition halls and outdoor areas fit for getting immersed in your favorite novel. It’s located in Yuldong Park in Bundang.
Book artists have developed hundreds of ways to bind books. The genre has been popular in Europe and the United States for many years, according to the foundation.
“Book art is different from books that are mass printed and bound. Each one is unique. Its idea, meaning, materials and design are its very own,” said Shin Chang-geun, an official at the foundation.
This year, 15 book artists from Korea and 10 from overseas will showcase their work at the exhibition.
Countries represented include the United States, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and Lithuania.


“Emotion” by Kim Sook-jung, a local book artist. Provided by organizer

The book artist and writer Johanna Drucker, a professor of media studies at University of Virginia, will give a talk during the festival.
Her publications include “The Century of Artists’ Books,” and “The Visible Word: Experimental Typography and Modern Art.”
Danish mixed media artist Hanne Matthiesen is also coming.
These artists will display their work in booths and be on hand to discuss it with visitors.
The Korean Bookarts Association and Contemporary Printmakers Association and Book Mine, a book art community, will be participating.
An interesting exhibit will be a display of pop-up books at the Book Theme Park. Some of the publications include timeless classics such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
There will also be a number of side events, such as a cappella performances, a magic show and other recreational sports.
Another feature will be a bazaar for children’s books and a display of hanji, traditional Korean paper.

For more information, call (02) 3478-5913 or visit www.bookarts.pe.kr. To get to Seongnam Arts Center, go to Imae Station, Bundang line, exit 1. For the Book Theme Park, go to Seohyeon Station, Bundang line, exit 2.

By Kim Hyung-eun Staff Reporter [hkim@joongang.co.kr]
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