Innovating books: 6th abC Art Book Fair opens in Beijing
Yang Yan

The 6th abC Art Book Fair is taking place at the Today Art Museum in Beijing. This year's fair brings together a diverse group of writers, publishers and artists from home and abroad, presenting an innovative variety of publications.

The three-day fair's theme centers around the "common street," which explores urban landscapes and life by reconnecting participants in an immersive reading experience. 

Some 139 publishers, working groups and independent artists have been invited. Forty-one publishers from overseas have mailed their publications to the event.

"I was actually hoping that the public could again realize the charm of the medium. The 'book' has never vanished, from the olden times to the present. I think under the artist's creation, the 'book' as a medium is sending out bigger energy," said Zhou Yue, co-founder of abC Art Book Fair.

Lynn Tan is an illustrator whose works are popular with a younger generation.

This year, she introduces her new series, "You Are The Apple Of My Eye" and "Waste Material." "Waste Material" is a pamphlet about spring and the book is colored pink and made of recycled items.

Books are on display at the 6th abC Art Book Fair. /CGTN

Books are on display at the 6th abC Art Book Fair. /CGTN

"This is my new series. During the COVID-19 outbreak, when every one was in isolation, I was back in Shanghai from Shandong Province, I couldn't go downstairs. Many discarded cartons accumulated at home, and I had no way to get rid of them," explained Tan. "The name of my little pamphlet is 'Waste Material', which means 'worthless things'. I want to express that there are things that seem having no value, but when you reinvent it, it becomes valuable. It is the concept of 'reusing'."

"The Child Who Became a Seed" is a collection of six stories told by seven children through illustrations, and it's about their troubles and sorrows, as well as their innocence and hope. 

Independent publisher Kai Kai has been making books with children for seven years, and finds it fulfilling.

"I always say this to the kids: Don't be confined to your own little world. We have to do things that are relevant to the present moment, and then reflect on it. Although they are children, they still have profound thoughts," said Kai. 

It's the first year for Inside-Out Art Museum to participate in the abC Art book fair. Inside-Out runs research-based programs in art and museum curation.

"We focus on our local thing, but we also like to collaborate internationally. This year we continue to collaborate with Archive Books, an independent publishing house in Berlin," said Huang Wenlong, associate manager of Research and Curatorial Department, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum.

The book fair runs until July 11 and will also present specially curated projects on topics such as sound and imaging, graphic studies and the printing process. 

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