Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Just about a block away from the entrance to Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute's old campus was a little bookstore. When I think of going to bookstores places like Barnes and Noble or Borders (lets have a moment of silence for the memory of sad that they're going out of business) pop into my head. Buying a coffee and looking through books and magazines at a table in the cafe or sitting on the floor to look at books also pop into my head. This was not the case in China. The bookstore I went to most frequently was like a storage unit with bookshelves and during the day the door was rolled up and at night it was rolled back down. There was no place to sit and browse through books and there seemed to be little rhyme or reason in how the books were organized. It made our bookstores seem like beautiful, extravagant places. While I was in there I came across these books and kind of fell in love with them. As best as I can tell they were all written or illustrated by the same person...2 of the Chinese characters are the same on each book cover and the drawings inside are very similar too...I picked up these four and am so glad that I did.
Here are some samples of the illustrations found within.

One of the coolest things about these books is that they're written in Chinese. So I have no idea what they say. I have tried to figure out the story plots from the pictures and to some extent can, but some of the drawings are kind of bizarre. I don't understand what they mean or why they are there. I think that is why I like them so much. They're mysterious to me. And in their own quirky and sometimes bizarre way I think they're very beautiful.

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