Books As
Aesthetic Objects
A unique collection of contemporary
rare books The core of the original
gift to FAU in 1998

Line

By Yoon Woong
2007

artist book; line; yoon woong; 2007(Click to view larger image)

Here’s another primer on how to read: opening this book is an invitation to ‘read’ on several levels and several planes. Its photographed images travel wordlessly from sky to ground, from dark to light, from day to night, from man’s creations to nature and back again.

Most strikingly the construction of this 6-inch square book makes you a participant in its action. The pages open into enclosed spaces, each with two walls and a floor into which your eyes and your mind enter. The conceit is deceptively simple, for each ‘floor’ has an underside, a page that gives a different perspective, which moves closer or father away so that in addition to the congruent leaves, you encounter another spatial dimension.

The cardboard pages reflect the artist’s fascination with line, how its intersections and parallels create rhythms, define spaces, tangle and weave. The first images seem to be telegraph lines with transformers and the apparatus of circuits. They remind me of Tennessee Williams’ telephone lineman ‘who fell in love with long distance,’ for they take us traveling far and fast. There are images of pipes too in this section, interwoven and angular with bulbous fittings, crossings and re-crossings that lead you into branches with twigs and leaves, still in the bare black-and-white of the early pages. Then suddenly there is color: it is early morning among marsh grasses, but the page that forms the underside of the ‘floor’ is a series of arc lamps on a highway, their lines moving you along.

The journey takes you close-up to a fabric, a leafy glade, a magnificently tiled Buddhist altar in the countryside where the obverse page takes you under the eaves of the temple; you are turned upside down and inside-out along these lines. You return to the city in daylight, a grid, train tracks, the lines move you on. For a brief moment there is stone paving, ivy on a wall; and then night falls in the city where time-lapse photography turns the myriad lights into bright colored lines. You cut to black. The lines have run out. The journey is over. The book is closed.

Judith Klau