Granary Books, 2012. Item #GB_155
11 1/4 x 14 in., 28 pp., sewn in paper over boards, clamshell box.
“It’s a book about water, it’s about aether, it’s neutral, coming from nowhere, going nowhere, just existing. Straightforward, simple. The subject is anonymity, it’s also about deception. John Yau has a very intimate relationship with words. The subject is quite complex so the vocabulary has to be simple and straightforward. The drawings and the writing are as if anonymous. The drawings are in the calligraphic tradition. The writing mounts to some conclusions. It's very mysterious, very rare...”
–Conversation with Steve Clay and Max Gimblett
Acclaimed poet and art critic John Yau wrote the poem in 2009 in response to several translations of the Tao Te Ching given to him by Max Gimblett. Upon receipt of the manuscript, Gimblett created a series of more than 100 drawings and collages incorporating rare and unusual handmade papers from around the world. This publication comprises the 24-part poem and 12 of the remarkable images; each book includes an original ink drawing by Gimblett on the cover. Yau and Gimblett have collaborated on dozens of unique books over the years; this is their second published collaboration.
The text and images were printed letterpress by Philip Gallo at The Hermetic Press; the collages incorporate gold-leaf, photography, photocopy and drawing. The non-adhesive binding was created by Susan Mills. Through a series of ingenious folds and couplings, the pages are gathered together and sewn to cloth-backed boards. The book is housed in a handmade silver cloth-covered clamshell box with spine label also made by the binder. This is from an edition of 33 copies, plus 2 proofs, which was limited by the scarcity of many of the papers within; each numbered and signed by the poet and artist. As new.
Pictured: cover; pp. 8–9; 12–13; 16–17; and 18–19.