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Bridging Cultures

In the globalized, interconnected world, an artist’s book can relate intercultural experience by holding great complexity in a format that the reader encounters in a direct, tactile way. In the books featured here, artists use that intimate connection to help the reader feel the effects more deeply of an upbringing that spans two cultures, or a multilingual experience of one’s surroundings. 


Jana Sim
Chicago: By the artist at Columbia College, Center for Book & Paper Arts, 2010

In Konglish, Sim uses ingenious structural and design features to relate multilingual experience – in this case Korean, English, and the hybrid of the two known as Konglish. Pages that are printed in English are also blind-embossed with Korean characters, and vice versa. Sections of the book open in opposite directions, reflecting a difference between traditional book structures in both languages. It is playful, while also giving the reader an empathetic sense of potential confusion.

UNC Library Catalog:

Miko Revereza
[New York, NY]: Hardworking Goodlooking, 2018

In a simpler but equally effective format, Revereza presents this account of an undocumented Filipinx immigrant – referred to as ‘the chameleon’ – through poems, photos, and data about immigration detention centers in the US. Two loose color snapshots that are clipped to the book add to the reader’s sense of being intimately involved with the story.

UNC Library Catalog: