Continuing on from my recent ‘China in Print’ series of blog posts focussing on book arts, artists’ books, publishing, self-publishing and books from, and critiquing contexts, of China, is Genda – a new magazine intersecting Western and Eastern culture. I’m not sure where or when I came across this new piece of print (I do know that I saw it online) but I had to get a copy as it featured two photographers that I recently curated as part of the 2014 ‘The Temporary: 01’ project – Fan Shi San and Mengxi Zhang (Mengxi I actually saw at the weekend at Offprint London 2015 art publishing fair)…also, I like reading and getting hold of new books on Chinese contemporary culture…somewhat a little obsessively in an archival way to my research practice.
Run by two sets of editorial staff in Italy and China, each issue of Genda is focussed around ‘a common theme which is then elaborated through the misunderstandings and complicities at the base of every concrete exchange’. With a clear attention to detail as images change the way you read from landscape to portrait, often bleeding in full colour to the page edge and text minimally placed, Genda #0 examines the theme of ‘Landscape as Abandon’,
“…it is the vision of what remains at the end of a road, at the moment a path is interrupted or when an action leads to a willed for, pursued, constructed and, at times, serially planned impasse. Seemingly different and far-off worlds and cultures observe and copy one another, modifying themselves without being mutually accountable.” – Genda
Attention to detail continues in the magazine’s cover and pages as they have used eco-friendly paper from Favini (Crush Kiwi for the dust jacket and Crush Corn and Citrus for the pages) that has a distinct feel and texture, making you realise what you are reading and holding is a little bit different (also feeding wordgirl’s love of paper ephemera and papermaking practice). Published by the Italian fine art printers Grafiche dell’Artiere, Artiere is an Italian word which means a combination between artist and craftsman, a notion that resonate through the magazine’s design, pages and ethos.
This issue showcases the works of Chinese artists Zhang Kechun, Zhang Jungang, Lahem, Ni Weihua, Fan Shi San, Ice Society, Zhang Mengxi and Confusedonism versus Western artists Jeff Wall, José Pedro Cortes, Volker Heinze, Stephan Keppel, Stefano Graziani, Bas Princen, Alberto Sinigaglia and Ohad Matalon. I can’t wait to see what their next issue has to offer.
“Genda is born from a misunderstanding: it is the Western mangling of the popular Chinese Zhenda – ‘Really?’; it is also the name of the preferred flower of Hindu rites and celebrations. Genda is a container of accidental, compressed, distant yet dangerously similar material. Its symmetrical structure separates the two spheres which are then recomposed and redistributed through the binding. Clashes and confluences result from the apparent remoteness of approaching worlds. Genda is an independent and interdisciplinary object. It proves the presence of things and the existence of occurrences, it is about experience. Every edition of Genda contains proofs, manifestations of the impact of the world on the authors. The text forms part of this and thus both language and translation are considered. Genda has a title, it seeks out the conditions for triggering new questions. Its contents are apparitions; their original order is recomposed in the pages where an incidental and unexpected factor – of which the authors are aware – exists.”