Jessica S. | July 18, 2014
With the introduction of e-books many of us are mourning the loss of the bound book, but artist Long-bin Chen has found a way to give books a second life. Chen, represented by the Now Contemporary Art Gallery in Miami, is known for transforming discarded books into works of art.
Born in Taiwan, Chen received his BFA from Tung-Hai University before completing his MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Each of Chen’s sculptures is made up of dozens of books carefully chosen to fully represent his subject matter. From a distance his sculptures appear to be crafted out of marble or wood instead of the hundreds of unwanted books he finds around town.
He discusses his medium on his website writing, “In my artwork I use printed material... that form the cultural debris of our information society.” In Chen’s work the medium is the message as his sculptures provide a critique on human waste and consumption. Yet by showing us what we carelessly throw away, Chen’s work also has a note of optimism. All of the books Chen uses have been rescued, turned into something beautiful once again to remind us that the printed word can live on. As more and more books are discarded every day in favour of digital copies, Chen’s work has never been more relevant. Try turning your iPad into something so breathtaking!
**Images from Long-Bin Chen's official website**