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Arts and Voices: Asian American Artists Books Exhibit

May 18, 2022

Collage of books and items from the Arts and Voices: Asian American Artists Books exhibit

To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Library and the Ella Strong Denison Library have co-curated an exhibit featuring selected Asian American book artists and their works, which are all available at the libraries of The Claremont Colleges. The exhibit aims to showcase a variety of work by Asian American book artists and their contributions to book arts, pursuit of self-identity, social justice and connection to their cultural heritage through their artistic expressions.

Highlights of this exhibit include:

Photo of Colette Fu's pop-up titled BameiBamei (2015) from We Are Tiger Dragon People series – Limited Edition of 10 Copies
“Bamei means ‘cave in the forest’ in Zhuang language. Tao Yuanming, the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420) poet, wrote of an isolated Peach Blossom Valley where people lived a simple pastoral life. For centuries, Chinese people merely regarded this valley as imaginary. To the Chinese, the peach blossom symbolizes luck, love and longevity, and to some – immortality.” — Colette Fu, book artist, paper engineer and photographer


Photo of Kazuko Watanabe and Enji Watanabe's book The Diary of a SparrowThe Diary of a Sparrow (1999) by Kazuko Watanabe and Enji Watanabe – Limited Edition No. 124 of 125 Copies
“The eight stories in my book are small excerpts from my grandfather’s journals … English translations hand-printed in letterpress alternate with computer manipulated and photo-etched images of the Japanese manuscript and with my multiple-plate color etchings, and the book is bound so parts can be unfolded and all can be stood up on a table like a small house …” — Page 7, The Diary of a Sparrow


Photo of Jihae Kwon's cut paper and wood book StratumStratum (2019) by Jihae Kwon – Limited Edition No. 2 of 8 Copies
“Inspired by Queen Liliʻuokalani’s song Kuʻu Pua I Paoakalani, “Stratum” is about the importance of the land and its care depicted in brief, poignant phrases.” — Colophon



Photo of a sheet from the Godzilla Asian American Arts Network's From Basement to Godzilla portfolioFrom Basement to Godzilla (1999) from the Godzilla Asian American Arts Network – Limited Edition of 250 Copies
“This commemorative, limited edition portfolio represents a moment in time in the continuing legacy of Asian American activism in the arts. It is designed to complement the installation From basement to Godzilla, part of the Urban Encounters exhibition, curated by Gregory Sholette at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, July 16-September 20, 1998″ — Title page


Photo of Julie Chen's accordion fold format book The VeilThe Veil (2002) by Julie Chen – Limited Edition No. 26 of 100 Copies
“The Veil” presents personal reflections inspired by the current political situation in the Middle East and the world. In carousel book format with shaped and intricately cut pages, the story unfolds in a richly beautiful, but strangely disquieting setting.” — Vamp and Tramp website


Learn more about the books and items on display.

Exhibit open to current Claremont Colleges students, faculty and staff and community card holders. General members of the public, regardless of their card status, can also visit the exhibit by appointment by scheduling your exhibition viewing appointment here.

Exhibit Details
Asian Library, Honnold 3
The Claremont Colleges Library
May 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022 (exhibition extended!)
Exhibit on view Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

View and/or download the Arts and Voices: Asian American Artists Books Exhibit flyer.