Han Meilin: TIAN SHU. The Sealed Book. Tianjin, 2007. 432 pp. B/w illustrations throughout. 28x21 cm. Wrappers.
Uncannily or, perhaps, pointedly bearing the same name as the famous contemporary artist, Xu Bing's 'Tianshu' or 'Book from the Sky', this may also be seen as a work of language-driven conceptual art but because it is presented in the context of relatively traditional calligraphy and epigraphy it will be unlikely to be widely appreciated in the western art world. Over a period of 34 years, Han Meilin collected rare glyphs from early Chinese inscriptions of all kinds - from Oracle bones to bronzes and stone carvings - particularly glyphs with figurative forms but regardless of whether these inscribed characters had been deciphered. He then assembled them in this extensive collation, occasionally intermingled with his own figurative additions. He has thus produced a mysterious 'Text from Heaven', one that is hard to place - creative epigraphy?, scholarship? art? craft? It is undoubtedly highly interesting and graphically engaging. All 'text' in Chinese. Out-of-print and hard to find.
Available, as of: 08/11/2019
Was item 444 in printed List 197.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.