When I was back in the UK last time at the end of the July 2012, I wrote about ‘What I’m reading’ and how it was good for me to read non-academic, PhD or art related print…well, this stack of books brings me straight back to what the next academic year (2012-13) is all about…(finally) completing my PhD. Dr. Marsden on her way. Only 80,000 words to write…actually, one chapter is pretty much grounded and I have a good sense of where the others are heading now even though throughout the other three years of research work they have been re-negotiated and re-framed. Everything changes and manifests over time though right? So here’s what I’ve recently acquired, a welcome back gift package from my Mom (thank you 谢谢), a Mom that I’d don’t know what I’d do without at the moment courtesy of HTC (hospital test chaos – an acronym for everything as usual) – that’s a blog post that’s going to be revelatory and pretty honest…and one of the main reasons why I’m back on UK soil right now.
- ‘The Order of Things’ by Mikko Kuorinki – An artist book find in the new year and who I hope to collaborate with at some stage. I actually wrote about this book back in January…that seems an age away. How is it October already.
- ‘Breakthrough – Overcome Creative Block and Spark your Imagination’ by Alex Cornell – A coffee table-esque book that just has a nice few motivation anecdotes in it that can change a mood or situation.
- ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’ DVD – I saw it at Cornerhouse, Manchester when I was back in the Summer and had to get a reference copy for teaching and also to show to friends in restricted places, if that makes sense.
- ‘Art of Change: New Directions from China’ – Exhibition catalogue that accompanies the show of the same name currently on display at the Hayward Gallery, London. I’ll be critiquing that show in a following post. Very mixed opinions.
- ‘Travels in China’ by Roland Barthes – Can’t wait to read these experiences.
- ‘The Darker Side of Western Modernity’ by Walter Mignolo – an academic who I’ve been told to read in relation to my PhD chapter on colonia/post-colonial/de-colonial China.
- ‘The Culture of Curating and Curating of Culture(s)’ by Paul O’Neill – A brand new publication.
- ‘Is Art History Global?’ by James Elkins – pretty much one of the grounding points and questions of my whole thesis.
- ‘The Crafter’s Guide to Papercutting’ by Emily Hogarth – Next year I’m giving some workshops to various creative spaces in the West Midlands and North West on bookbinding, bookmaking and papercutting so thought I’d get a Western perspective to work hand-in-hand with my Chinese knowledge of these arts.
- ‘MAD Dinner’ by Ma YanSong – A great book from the Beijing-based architectural firm ‘MAD’ which has gained international acclaim. It presents the firm’s use of high-tech visualisations and imaginary shapes with proposals for the sustainable future of the Chinese city, challenging Chinese approaches to values, culture, and environment.
- ‘How the City Moved to Mr Sun’ by Michiel Hulshof and Daan Roggeveen – given to me by the writer/publisher in China for collaborative review. Yet to read. Interested to see what it says…
- ‘Local Histories/Global Designs’ by Walter Mignolo – again another appropriate text to read for the said PhD chapter as previously mentioned.
A lot of heavy reading ahead that I’m going to be wading through over the coming months. Also for reference, here are a couple of images of how many books I have back in my UK office in my home. I really did not think I had this many and there are more coming from China in bright green turquoise China Post boxes as we speak. Some might call it a library…others a waste of money…some an obsession…others my pension in a visual word format. Whatever it is, all I know is I love print, the feel and hold of a beautifully designed book, the smell of its pages, but I’ve spoken about that before. Friends, family, books, ballet, fixed gear building, typewriters and China. That’s where I am right now.