Exhibitions now through August

I feel humbly fortunate to be exhibiting this summer in several locations in Korea and abroad, to have met so many brilliant Curators and to be a small part of their ideas, visions, dreams and themes, some of which aim to promote social change and focus on the belief that art has provocative and transformative qualities. Below are the venues and for ART BUSAN these are their hours: 

May 20 (Friday) until 22 (Sunday) from 12:00 -22:00
May 23 (Monday) from 11:00 – 17:00

Invitation summary of exhibitions spring summer 2016

Artists’ books as an alternative kind of “Prescription”

“Intimate and cathartic” refers to both: the process of making a book and the process of reading. Book as an object encourages intimate interaction between the maker and the object, the object and the reader. Art as an activity veers towards the cathartic experiences between the artist and the object; the object and the viewer. Adding to that a medical context, results Medical Humanities and an approach, which considers artist’s books as a tool to aid healing and facilitate communication between doctors and patients.”

“I was honoured to co-curate Prescriptions exhibition, which is now open until August 14 at Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury. The exhibition is part of Artists’ Books and Medical Humanities project by the University of Kent’s School of English.”  Excerpt from our Curator Egidija Čiricaitė’s beautiful blog piece. A must read!

Photos of the private view day can be seen here. For the online catalog please click here.


“No Mind” spool book is now part of Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities project by the University of Kent.



“Voyage, voyage” last stop was Germany but will it be the last stop for these artists?

Certainly not! This travelling exhibition about the artist as nomad did a final stop in Atelierhausen in Aachen, Germany where it opened up with a wonderful party including performance and installations. Photos can be seen here. The international artists chosen for this show have experienced many journeys and will probably continue moving and retelling their stories, changing their perspectives as they mature and evolve. Perhaps that’s the beauty of not committing to just one place and allowing yourself to see the world from different angles: Amira Al-Sharif, Gaby Berglund Cardenas, Milene Evers, Cora de Lang, Teppo Korte, A+B, Pernille Londstrup, Wolfgang in der Wiesche & Kyongju Park, Marie-Josée Comello, Sonja Mischor, Gerhard Gunter and Hella Frowein-Hagenah. Very grateful to be part of this project curated by Jeroen Van Paassen and running until May 15th.




About “No Mind”: my book for upcoming UK exhibition

A couple of good friends from Sweden asked me to explain/show more about my artist book/scroll, so here it is:  “For centuries Buddhist monks have used meditation to obtain enlightenment. In the early 17th century Zen monks drew Enso circles with brush and ink as a form of meditation. More recently, physicians have employed meditation to successfully help treat certain disorders. I studied Buddhism and meditation after moving to S. Korea and sitting daily for long periods, handwriting repeatedly the words “no mind” allowed me to quiet my mind and body as well as to empty my mind. “No mind” is a Zen expression equivalent to being mindful, present. I made a scroll that became 1,6 meter long and it evolved into a series.”

My scroll book was later chosen for “Prescriptions” (Ap.21-Aug.14, 2016), an exhibition of book art about mindfulness, body/mind, art as medicine/medicine as art and artists’ books as illness narratives, to supplement Martha Hall’s exhibition of works as part of Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities symposium and workshop, organised by University of Kent and University of New England.

But, who was Martha Hall? In 1989, when Martha Smith Hall was on the verge of a new career (she was 39 then), close to completing her Master’s of Business Administration from Dartmouth’s Tuck School and headed for a high-powered job in advertising, she received her first diagnosis of breast cancer.

Remission from the disease followed a litany of treatments and for 10 years she thrived in business, rising to a director position. Then she received her second diagnosis: a recurrence of breast cancer, she quit her job and moved back to Maine, her home state. She molded her schedule around a streaming succession of treatments—radiation, chemotherapy, counseling, more prescription drugs than she could organize. And she returned to art, which she’d studied as a Smith undergraduate, not only for pleasure, but therapy. Eventually, she concentrated on creating artist’s books to express her experience in dealing with cancer, and through which she realized emotional release, communication with her loved ones, and the creation of a legacy.

Hall’s books, composed of poems, prose passages, ironic quotes by health professionals and striking images, are intensely moving in their directness and chronicling of a receding life. Her books achieve a rare balance of artistic beauty and poignant meaning. She continued producing books during the next five years as her health steadily deteriorated and her artistic ability developed substantially.

The Rest of My Life, by Martha A. Hall, November 2000

In 2001, Martin Antonetti, curator of rare books in Smith’s Mortimer Rare Book Room,purchased Hall’s The Rest of My Life, a poetic reflection on the duration of her treatment, artistically crafted in scribbled notes and organized in a box like a Rolodex file. Other books address aspects of her life with breast cancer, such as one titled Prescriptions; a piercing work called Voices: Five Doctors Speak; and a particularly moving card catalogue compilation of remembrances of similarly afflicted acquaintances called Ghost Friends.

Voices: Five Doctors Speak, by Martha A. Hall, August 1998

Hall died in 2003 survived by her husband and two daughters. On the same year, Antonetti curated an exhibition of Hall’s books in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, which later traveled to Bowdoin and Wellesley colleges and Yale University. The exhibit I’m part of at The Beaney Museum in Canterbury, “Prescriptions”, loaned books from the University of New England to share her insights with a much wider readership.

“Martha the person was a victim of a dreadful disease, but Martha the artist was a healer,” “Martha shows us the catalyzing power of art. In over two decades of curating exhibitions, this has been the most significant, emotionally charged and personally rewarding project.” (Martin Antonetti, curator of rare books in Smith’s Mortimer Rare Book Room)

Artist's book "NO MIND", Gaby Berglund Cardenas, 2015

Artist’s book “NO MIND”, by Gaby Berglund Cardenas for “Prescriptions” Exhibition , 2015

What are artists’ books?

A few people had questions about my artist’s book, “No Mind”, soon on exhibition at The Beaney Museum in UK. I think it’s important to understand first what artists’ books are, so I’ll try to do that in this post.

Artists’ books are books made or conceived by artists. There are fine artists who make books and book artists who produce work exclusively in that medium, as well as illustrators, typographers, writers, poets, book binders, printers and many others who work collaboratively or alone to produce artists’ books. Many artists’ books are self-published, or are produced by small presses usually in limited editions.

Artists’ books that maintain the traditional structure of a book are often known as book art or bookworks, while those that reference the shape of a book are known as book objects. The artist’s book is by nature, and for the reasons just mentioned more likely to be non-traditional in format and structure. In fact, it is almost expected that artists deviate as far as they dare from the traditional form entering into the realm of sculpture.

Artists have been associated with the written word since illuminated manuscripts were developed in the medieval period. William Blake (1757 -1827) made some of the first artists’ books, among them The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Songs of Innocence. In these, Blake wrote the text, made the etchings of the text and illustrations, printed, and then hand-colored the pages. The only thing Blake did not do it seems was bind them. Blake was far ahead of his time. The artist’s book did not reappeared until this century and was adopted as a format by the Futurists, DADA, and the Constructivists among others.

Contemporary artists’ books are noteworthy for their many different forms, they can be made of text alone, images only, or both.

In my latest solo exhibition in Busan in 2015 I showed a few limited edition artists’ books made of etchings and woodcuts (photos below). In my next post I will talk specifically about my book “No Mind” and how it is relevant to the exhibition “Prescriptions” at the Beaney Museum (April 21st to August 14th, 2016).

Artists' books (made of etchings) on display at Praum Gallery during my Solo Exhibition in 2015

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If you’re interested in learning more about artists’ books, this Victoria & Albert Museum link has wide and fascinating information.

My artist’s book at the Beaney Museum in UK

Today I got a letter inviting me to exhibit one of my artist’s books at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, an art gallery, museum and library situated in the heart of the historic city of Canterbury, UK that opened in 1899. They also would like my piece as part of the collection of Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities project (University of Kent).  I have, of course, accepted! The exhibition focuses on the book art of Martha Hall, on loan from the University of New England, and linked to a University of Kent symposium. Hall’s books document her experiences with breast cancer and interactions with the medical community. The exhibition is accompanied by a curated show of artists books responding to themes of illness, healing and well-being.

But what is an artist’s book? An artist’s book is a medium of artistic expression that uses the structure or function of “book” as inspiration—a work of art in book form. Here is my book:

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“No Mind” artist’s book, 4, 5 meter long ink calligraphy script on Nepal paper mounted on handmade paper and antique sewing spool, 2014. Unique piece from a set of 3.

The New Beaney; Canterbury; Kent; Sidell Gibson Architects; Exhibition; public Library; Gallery

The New Beaney; Canterbury; Kent; Sidell Gibson Architects. Photo by Robert Greshoff

The museum was renovated in 2012 and photographer Greshoff shows astonishing shots in his website. If you are in town between April 21st and August 14th, 2016 please visit our exhibition at The Drawing Room at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge.

If you would like to know more about the museum, please visit their website.


At the Museum of Ploiesti City, Romania

Two of my woodcut prints are on display at the Museum of Ploiesti City, Romania: “Breastfeeding I and III”. The latest is now part of the museum’s collection.  Founded in 1931, the “Iosif Iser” International Contemporary Engraving Biennial Exhibition has enriched the museum’s patrimony since 1990 with hundreds of works illustrating all of the older and contemporary engraving techniques by artists from all the five continents. To see some of the art on this year’s XI Edition, please visit the museum’s website. More photos in their Muzeul Judeţean de Artă Prahova’s Facebook page


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“Breastfeeding III”, part of the Museum’s collection

Invitation 1

Breastfeeding I, on exhibition during this year’s Biennial