Friday, 4 November 2011

Books and paper

I'm not sure what to make of this year's Takeo paper show. Takeo is a major paper producer in Japan – a country, of course, with a love of the craft of paper. This year's paper show has the theme of books. At the main Takeo shop's display floor, these books are in exhibition, along with iPad and electronic displays of books and papers, plus there's a thick book about the show (with paper samples included) for sale. (There's also an interactive "bookshelf" which I didn't quite follow.) 78 people chose a book each for the show, which are mostly diplayed behind glass, and it's an odd way to display those books which have simple covers. (This is primarily about paper, and the feel is only from those available in currently published form and the exhibition book itself.  Only those with dramatic or unusual cover design really work in this behind-glass form.)

Nevertheless, the Takeo shop itself is a work of minimalist art. And there are satellite displays in various bookshops around Tokyo. The craft of paper is a joy, and that joy is celebrated by Takeo. But the exhibition itself – although thought-out in its detail and display – struggles to have impact. Or perhaps its me who missed something.

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