About this piece:
This work is primarily about contrast. It engenders the contrast of photos, real life and art; it contrasts art as creation, yet on the other hand, art as commercial objects of sale, yet above all presents art as something that somehow finds its way into our life in one form, or another. The cave temples of Mogao, situated near the old Silk Road oasis of Dunhuang in northwestern China and therefore also known as the Dunhuang caves, are among the world’s most important sites for Buddhist art and afford one an unparalleled overview of one thousand years of Chinese painting. While exploring the city I also found that there were so many symbols from cave paintings finding their way into use in daily life. In any case I was truly inspired by the related historical possibilities behind the mural paintings and the appearance of this ancient life. I would like that my book could, in a way, represent the contrast of real modern life and a thousand years’ worth of historical Buddhist stories.
When the book is opened, we see some old Chinese texts and a fragment Buddhist paintings. All of these elements come together to from the cave paintings on this page. The next page is a photo of modern life in Dunhuang. The pages in this book come insets of two. The first is a silkscreen print, and the second is a photograph. The next set of pages of 3 and 4 features the same: a recreated cave paintings and an image of the current life. The book can also be opened completely a star-like shape. I also use the new form of binding which I invented the main binding keeps the book together, and smaller binding combines two pages into many sets. There are six editions of this book, each book is different and features different sets of images but the idea remains the same. It should also be noted that the texture of each page plays an important part of the experience of reading and feeling the book; the raised texture of the paste paper contrasts with the smooth, flat touch of the photos.
This work continues the concept of my other book, “East · West”, which was about contrast. Here, it creates a contrast of photos, real life and art, and artistic antiquity, yet ultimately it points out that whether the products of art or commerce, all these things will constantly revisit our lives for what seems like eternity.
silkscreen prints, photographs
Leilei Guo is a book artist, currently lives and works in Beijing. She once studied in Rhode Island School of Design (USA) in 2006. She graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts with a Master’s degree in 2008. In 2012, her artists’ book “Nest-Soho” won the 2012 Juror’s Award of Artistic Excellence Prize from Krystyna Wasserman, in USA. Her work were collected by New York Public Library, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, University of California, Lafayette College, and so on.