Some closeups from “Heavy is the Head,” a mini pop-up book about royalty and assassination.
This is my first attempt at restoring a book from the 1870s. 19th century natural history is just about the greatest thing ever, so I hope that I’ve prolonged the life of this little chunk of it for a lot longer. If you’re interested in repairing and restoring your own books, you should check out some of the tutorials I used and the videos I watched!
Posted this on my main tumblr awhile back, but I thought it was fitting for my art one as well.
Here’s what I’ve been up to lately: paper dolls! I’ve been painting and printing these poseable, articulated paper dolls to sell in my brand new (well, mostly) etsy shop, Character Zoo. These four thumbnails are my first four designs, but I’ll be putting new designs out every week!
Last year, I went to a festival in Andong, Korea, and saw this guy walking barefoot along a giant dragon-shaped knife.
This year, I finally got around to painting him and making him a little scaly dragon envelope to live in. The scales are 3D cut-out layers, so they actually have the texture of scales. Mmm, tactile.
I made this pocket shrine to David Bowie out of an old Altoid tin. When David Bowie was a kid, he got punched in the eye (which is the reason his pupils are uneven.) I thought that perhaps when he got punched, he received some sort of extraterrestrial vision of his identities to come, based on a book he had as a child…which I also…made up.
The book is a mega-tiny accordion book chock-full of Bowie references!
I made this card about eating coagulated cow’s blood soup. When you remove the card from inside (which just has a small bowl of soup on it), the cow on the envelope begins to bleed, like this:
Julia’s Coffin: Here’s yet another letter I made. This one’s about my great friend Julia, who has way too many things to juggle in life. The outside of her coffin is inspired by traditional Korean Buddhist temples, and it clasps at the top to keep shut. The black space in the middle is where I’ll eventually paint in my Korean name (Han Hyo Rin.)
Each of her arms is fully jointed and moveable, and she’s holding a different worry in each hand. I made the doll so that she could lift up the hand of whichever concern is worrying her most at the time.
Made this letter yesterday about my first experience eating live octopus. The octopus’s tentacles are jointed with tiny brads, so they can move around inside the mouth!
Aaaand here we are, folks. The final envelope that I’ve made so far. This one was inspired by the sheer volume of seafood I’ve eaten while here, despite the fact that it’s really not my thing. Everything on the dragon’s back is a different kind of seafood I’ve had (from top to bottom: mussels, salmon, octopus, blowfish, crab, and shrimp.) The dragon itself came to me after a trip to the mask museum in nearby Andong.
So, since this is the most recent thing I’ve made, I’m afraid posts are going to get a lot less frequent now, simply because it takes me awhile to make things! Never fear, though…art is coming…
Another envelope, a minuscule Valentine’s-style envelope handcut from pink paper. On the inside is a tiny anatomical heart. This was inspired by my trip to the Korean hospital. Cutesy…posters…everywhere.
The second letter I’ve made; I see dogs in doghouses everywhere here, which isn’t something I saw a lot in the states. The dogs, none of which seem to be spayed or neutered, churn out puppies at an alarming rate…and thus the doghouse envelope was born.
It’s official: I’m through posting old projects, and I’m moving on to posting what I’m currently working on! I’ve been living in South Korea for about six months now, and I’ll be living here for another year yet. Unfortunately, no mail from the “outside world” seems to be able to reach my apartment here, so I began this project, in which I’m creating all the mail I wish I were getting, ha! Every one of these letters relates to something I’ve done or seen in Korea, and by the time I leave here, I hope to have quite the healthy stack of letters finished.
This first one relates to the numerous books on Buddhism that I read when I first arrived, and to the many Buddhist temples that I visited. When you open the envelope, you can pull the sword from the man’s head and watch as he gains enlightenment.
More letters to come!
Christopher’s Room, 2011
Interactive installation with handmade and handprinted furniture, wallpaper, books, sculpture, etc.