The “Record and Declaration” part displays works with close observation and deep introspection on contemporary topics under the themes of division & fruition, and passion & intuition. This part consists of three chapters: “Picture Speech” is about stories and voices exchanged between texts and pictures; “Metamorphosis” approaches environmental issues as an object of observation by collecting and recording plastic waste that became hardened like rocks on the beach; and “Slanted Library” collects examples of books that have influenced changes in book design through extraordinary attempts at the time of publication since 2015. Seven teams and 48 books are participating in this chapter of the exhibition.
1. Picture Speech
Illustration works on media such as books and posters often express topics written in text using images. The texts are prepared first and illustrations interpret them. In ‘Picture Speech’, we change the order so that the viewer faces the pictures which had been prepared first and the texts that interpreted them. Through this, we want to experiment with the interaction between images and texts. Illustrators from numerous countries present pictures that were created based on various issues in the contemporary era—ranging from human rights, gender issues, the New Normal, a pandemic and real estate. The pictures consist of five different sizes that contain consecutive or related narratives. Pen Union (Hana Kim & Sunwoo Hwang), a duo who have written and talked about many different ways of life and stories, add writings to these pictures. This chapter is a conversation between pictures and texts about issues that we can all relate to these days. In addition, we hope this chapter will provide an opportunity to reverse the stereotype that texts are clear and rational while pictures are an ambiguous and emotional way of expression.
From nature’s perspective, written characters become traces that humans leave in nature, and the theme of “Typography and Life” can be interpreted as a relationship between human traces and nature. The current era in which human beings are extremely transforming the Earth is called the Anthropocene. Thus, it is possible to imagine that the traces of our changing nature are considered as new characters of the Anthropocene. Artist Hanna Chang embodies this idea through New Rock. Chang looks at nature with human beings’ active involvement in it as a new ecology, and has been working on tracking and collecting “new rocks” that are unprecedentedly changed natural materials. In this chapter, the artist’s collecting and recording become the act of discovering new characters, and viewers decipher the phenomenal warning messages from the new characters gathered by the artist.
3. Slanted Library
Life divides, transfers, and begins to change starting with a single-celled organ. A book is a structure of types that leads to thoughts and practices, while book design is a creative process that brings a book to life. For centuries, book design has organized and accumulated rules to secure the true nature of books by advocating principles. It has become natural for modern book design to follow traditional ways of design in order to survive. At the same time, designers constantly attempted to break away from tradition and customs like cells that mutate and expand life, often creating unfamiliar “variants” of books. Slanted Library exhibits book design as variants. This chapter collected and classified unconventional designs that have broken away from traditional rules of design both in cover and page designs among books published in Korea since 2015. We would like to ask questions about the minimum rules and information that have been accepted natural, and look at books that are obliquely off the border between reading and viewing.