White on White (2015)
The idea of designing a white booklet is inspired by two separate, seemingly irrelevant ideas: one is a chart of Chinese traditional colors, in which different colors are associated with the work “white,” even though technically speaking, they are not the color white we are referring today. Ancient Chinese people’s perception of colors fascinates me; and I would love to make a catalogue to display these exquisite colors and their names to both contemporary Chinese and the world.
The other source, which I personally love a lot, is Russian artist Malevich’s famous painting, Suprematism Composition: White on White. Having Malevich as one of the avant-garde, Suprematism stresses the abandonment of forms and pure reliance on spiritual needs. The idea, coincidentally, corresponds to the Chinese Daoist belief that “great images reside in no form.” The collision of culture piqued my interest to make a transparent color catalogue, and see how the boundaries of colors–which is already abandoned by the naming system ancient Chinese people used– can be smudged and merged.
I print the book on vellum and acetate, thus when readers press on each page, colors and colors will overlap, and create shadows, thus new colors, new forms, new spiritual experience, and as Suprematism insists on pursuing, new and pure pleasure upon viewing things without forms, boundaries, definitions and restrictions.
⬇️The process of making White on White