Shu-Ju Wang ~ Oregon

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Shu-Ju Wang: "I enjoy making small, intimate work that draws you in to read up close & personal. … I want my work to sing with lush imagery and jewel-like colors, and to speak about a world that is wonderful, unsettling, and ever-changing."

Miniature book by Shu-Ju Wang
Relay Replay Press, collaborations on memory loss

True as Earth, Strong as Water
By Shu-Ju Wang
Portland, Oregon: Relay Replay Press, 2011. Edition of 26.

8.125 x 4.75"; 26 pages. Accordion structure. Gocco printed on Nepal Heavyweight, a handmade paper from Nepal. Solarplate etchings printed on cotton paper handmade by Helen Hiebert. Boards covered in handmade mulberry paper from Taiwan. Cover images Gocco printed.

This is the story of Arnold E. Metz, who grew up on a farm in South Dakota and served during World War II on the USS President Hayes. He completed his education after the war, graduating from Northern State University (Aberdeen, South Dakota), and had a long educational career in Michigan and South Dakota. Shu-Ju Wang has captured this life through etchings, handmade paper, and a few words.

Shu-Ju Wang, blog entry September 2011: "This was the book I started with an elderly WWII vet back at the start of 2009. His wife heard about the project I did at Rose Schnitzer Manor and thought I might be interested in working with him. And now two years and nine months later, I have completed the project!

"Detail on the back of the accordion. It's the melody from San Antonio Rose. If you know the song, you can follow along. Otherwise, it might just look like a landscape or the water. There are 5 etchings all together (solarplate etchings) on each of the 5 sets of handmade paper made with soils and waters collected from various places.

"The first trifold: the brown paper with the etching is made by Helen [Hiebert] and contains soil from the South Dakota farm that he was born and raised in.
The second trifold: the blue paper with the etching contains water from the Pacific Ocean.
The third trifold: the green-blue paper with the etching contains water from the Columbia River.
The fourth trifold: the gray-blue paper with the etching contains water from the Willamette River.
The last trifold: the brown paper with the etching contains soil from his Oregon farm."


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Alphabet for a Belly Dancer
By Shu-Ju Wang
Portland, Oregon: Shu-Ju Wang, 2008. Edition of 48.

3.25 x 4.25" closed, extends to 27"; 10 pages. Silkscreen printed on a Gocco. Bound in a pull out accordion structure. Wraparound paper cover in Japanese Masa Unwaxed and French handmade paper Mouchette Almond (pale green). Closure of hand-dyed rayon ribbon, cois, and beads. Housed in a protective envelope made with a shimmering dark turquoise 89 lb cover stock.

Shu-Ju Wang: "A sentimental prayer poem for belly dancers, this book captures the essence of belly dance through word play and rhythmic patter that mimics the dance itself."

Text (E through H):

Enchant, with the intricate movements of your
Feet, gliding, stepping to the beat of the drum.
Grace, with sweeps of your arms, hems of your skirts, your
Hands, beckoning, drawing them to your kingdom.


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Betrayal! Humiliation! NPR!
By Laylah Reddick
Portland, Oregon: Shu-Ju Wang, 2008. Edition of 200.

4.25 x 2.6"; 34 pages. Photocopy, print Gocco, hand-coloring.

Laylah Reddick*: "A 'flash' book about the big and not quite so big things in life. Conceived, drawn, printed, and bound in 2 days."

*This is a pseudonym of Shu-Ju Wang.

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Shu-Ju Wang Out of Print Title:
• Fatherland

By Shu-Ju Wang
Portland, Oregon: Shu-Ju Wang, 2008. Edition of 13.

5.5 x 5.5" closed, 99" extended; 14 pages. Double-sided accordion structure. Print Gocco, Graphite, Eyeshadows on Rives BFK and Plexi. Illustrations based on images found in magazines and More Joy of Sex. Bound with plexi covers. Printed title on front cover visible only through the shadow it casts. Wrapped in paper folder of Stonehenge Gray with gray organza ribbon tie.

Shu-Ju Wang: "The illusion of desire is powerful but transitory, and the arc it traverses unvarying – the strong pull of seduction and allure at the beginning is tarnished over time as desire turns to neglect and rejection. Calypso traces this trajectory through two parallel story lines, that of women's cosmetics and of a love affair.

"The book was inspired in part by an anonymous blog documenting an affair coming to an end, and also by friends and strangers who were more than happy to be rid of the eye shadows they no longer wanted."

Text introduction:

Ca • lyp • so

  1. Name of various shades of eye shadows manufactured by cosmetic companies to evoke an exotic locale or a glamorous image.
  2. A nymph and daughter of Atlas who falls in love with a married, shipwrecked of a man, Odysseus.

           [From Greek root Kalupso, to hide, to conceal. To make secret.]

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Da(3) Pai(2)
By Shu-Ju Wang
Portland, Oregon: Shu-Ju Wang, 2008. Edition of 40.

2 x 3"; 54 cards. Silkscreen printed with the Gocco. Card faces designed and silkscreened by Shu-Ju Wang. Laid in paper wraparound with red grosgrain ribbon tie closure.

Shu-Ju Wang: "A full deck of 54 cards that trace the evolution of 52 Chinese characters from their original pictographs to their contemporary forms. The heart and diamond suits illustrate the evolution of 26 radicals, and the spade and club suits show these radicals used in complex, combination characters. Based on the book Chinese Calligraphy by Edoardo Fassioli, and Guo Yu Ri Bao Zi Dian, a Chinese dictionary."

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By Shu-Ju Wang
Portland, Oregon: Shu-Ju Wang, 2008. Edition of 40.

8.5 x 1.25 " closed, opens to 8.5 x 20"; 32 pages. Silkscreen printed with the Gocco on black French Speckletone Cover. Bound as a palm leaf book with cotton embroidery thread, black glass buttons, and black Japanese Unryu.

Shu-Ju Wang: "Three poems dedicated to the Piper Nigrum, the most humble of our spices, the black pepper. Initially inspired by a chili eating contest at a Thai restaurant, the book evolved to explore the history of the spice trade in SE Asia."

Keeping with the book's subject, it is constructed palm leaf style with a map of the Banda Islands (the Spice Islands) on the reverse side.


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Project Sushi
By Shu-Ju Wang
Portland, Oregon: Shu-Ju Wang, 2004. Edition of 25.

4.5 x 5.75" closed, 4.5 x 85" open; 18 pages. Accordion structure with blog entries tipped on. Some of the entries can be lifted to simulate links or hypertext. Back side of accordion stamped with images of Ratwoman. Laser printed and rubber stamped on Rives BFK and Confetti Text. Bound in textured brown paper over boards with title stamped on front board.

A cautionary tale presented as a blog.

Shu-Ju Wang: "Written as a blog, this is an account of the search for Ratwoman, superhero to some and villain to others. Like everything else you read on the web, it comes complete with hyperlinks, errors, dead ends, and the content should be taken with a grain of salt."

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Page last update: 01.21.15

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