Pixim Ooi on “Travelogic (One More Folded Sunset)” by Mei

“Travelogic is an artist book made out of two paper concertinas. Each book is made from one large sheet of hand-marbled paper, cut into panels, joined and hand-stitched to form a double concertina. Its dynamic, sculptural quality exudes a poetic structure that allows for different ways of exhibiting and viewing the artwork.”

Pixim Ooi, FOM Docent for STPI

One instance, it could be placed flat on its side; another instance, it could be standing in the shape of ‘S’, ‘U’, or ‘W’, or forming a circle when both ends meet. Equally intriguing are the recesses and shadows cast by its folded planes, which can expand and contract like an accordion.

Looking beyond its folded pages, we see that this is no ordinary book. Inspired by Mei’s travels, where friendships are forged and memories made, one may view it as a collection of folded sunsets from around the world, an abstract travel journal. The Suminagashi marbling effect sets the background for the travel stories to fill its pages with romantic accents in the form of screenprints, embroidered elements and carbon imprints.

Sunsets are such a wonder to look at because they are so beautiful and yet so fleeting. They last for just a moment, and then they are gone. It makes us want to wait for the same moment the next day. In this troubled time, the artwork makes us wonder when we can go chasing sunsets freely again? It is a timely reminder of how precious life’s moments are, and to treasure them. Perhaps planning for our next adventure will give us hope to make new travel memories again.

…What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?…

Extract of poem, ‘Questions of Travel’ by Elizabeth Bishop


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