⟨ Book ⟩

Furze Chan ‘36’

As if nature was designing.

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / Kimio Ng
Translation / Iris Heung

上星期我們介紹了鄧浩倫的新作《36》,Furze這次除了同樣是設計師的身分,也是第一次成為策展人,他倆同時成立了獨立出版社1984 Publishing。這回我們來跟她聊聊,她眼中的「36」。

Last week, we introduced to our readers the new book 36 by Tang Ho Lun.  This week, we are having a talk with Furze, the designer of the book. Chan and Tang are the co-founders of the indie publisher 1984 Publishing. The 36 book launch exhibition is her first time curating a show. Let us listen to what she says about 36.

循著光,我們遇到某種不常聽見的聲音。

每次用力到盡頭,便很需要離開一陣子,由它擱著,回來時就會慢慢變得澄澈。很像釀清酒,等待熟成。是放手,讓它流向任何可能。直到能肯定是那個模樣之前,總有太多面向。

Following the source of light, we have an encounter with a sound that we don’t usually hear.

Departing from where you were is an essential step to restore your energy after working really hard. Just let yourself be elsewhere, things would look freshened up once you are back. This is a lot like the sake brewing process, where most of the time you do nothing but wait for the optimal outcome. Just let go and be led by chances, after all, there can be numerous possibilities before things take any shape.

「我中途把它丟下了一會兒,然後它突然之間在我腦海出現。」
「沒有封面就是封面了。」一段日子裡、連日來的反芻終於得到確定。

“I just left it there for a while when I was in the middle of something, then it suddenly popped up in my mind.” “A book can be designed without a cover.” After a period of time, fragments of random thoughts finally got actualized.

作為設計師,她最先看到書的內容,也要最先作出反應,但她真正的感受很久之後才浮現。「在設計的過程中與完成後,才會了解那些照片是怎樣,很後知後覺的。完成後才能沒有包袱地重新看一遍,然後我發現了,我有更多的感受。」過程中,理性與感性交替出現。

極稔熟,也存在很多互相揣摩,互相輾轉推翻,這可能是最心癢難耐又最艱深的趣味。

「很赤裸的。就是,我是一個人,我有我的感官,我會怎樣去解讀那些照片,然後用一個最合適的方法展示它,整件事對我來說是人性化的,我必需有那個感動才可以做到。」設計前已定調的只有「他說,照片不需要編排,1到36格如實呈現。想要做成風琴摺,那是他唯一的要求。」

As a designer, she would instantly respond to the content of the book, but it takes time for her to genuinely digest and know how she feels about the book as a whole. “The design process allows me to actually understand the photos, so I only get to know them thoroughly after I’ve finished my design. When I’m done with my job, I can finally look at them without thinking how to execute the design.” This is a course of intricate relationships between rationality and sensibility.

No matter how familiar she is with the photographer, they are, after all, two individuals who cannot know precisely what each other wants. The time spent on figuring out each other’s real thoughts can be so challenging yet exciting.

“I had to reveal my entire self without hiding. I use my sensibility to interpret the photos and use the best way to present them. This is, to me, very personal. I have to be moved by the photos to achieve this result. The only brief she received from Tang was, “There is no need to rearrange the order of the photos. I need to keep the order of the 36 frames as they were. His other request was to use the method of the accordion fold.”

裡面有幾段像詩的文字。考慮到一口氣到尾的影像真實,要把它們放進去而不影響閱讀,應該很不容易吧?

「我覺得他這個人不是很單純地是一個攝影師,他的文學根底很強,文字對他來說很重要,所以我覺得一定要把它們安放好。」

最後的成品,字的排列高低起伏,就像呼吸般,不那麼平整,而是有機地掉落紙上。

「不然好像會打斷一些流動的東西。」是怕打斷作者驟然而至的思路。「但為了不想文字的聲音太大」只留了一種極淡的灰,讓它們幾近在呢喃。

There are some lines of poem-like text in the book, it is not easy to incorporate them without interrupting the flow of images.

“Photographer is only one of his many roles. He is also very fond of literature, so textual content is also an essential element to his work. Therefore I had to consider them seriously.”

In the final print, the texts are aligned irregularly like the pattern of breath. They simply scatter randomly without any rule on the pages.

“Or else it will disrupt the fluidity.” She took extra care not to disturb the author’s thoughts that are constantly incidental. “But I also wanted to avoid giving the text an overwhelming presence.” Giving the text a very light grey color, they appear like mumbling instead of a loud speech.

「他好像將那些樹影、那些景象,從所有地方和時間裡抽了出來。所以有時候我會覺得,我不需要問那個樹林是在哪,因為看到這些影像就已經很足夠。」

沒有編排但自然成了順序。

「這張的光很特別,它為什麼會有條紋的呢,很有設計感,但那是大自然做的。」

“He seems to have extracted the shadow and images from their physical space and time. Sometimes I feel it unnecessary to know exactly where are the woods because the images are already powerful enough.”

Without editing, a nice sequence just came naturally.

“This one has a special light, why does it look like stripes? It is as if nature was designing.”

「我覺得看照片,如果有解釋不了的感動,它就是最好的照片。如果解釋到,可能你會忘記,解釋不到的應該就不會忘記有過的那種感受。」能留下的,很常就只有感覺。感覺確實存在、感覺雖然很浮動、但感覺最最恆久。

這輯照片、這本書,沒有光就不會發生。
一起闖進這片閃爍叢林,跟作者走過那不能重現的所在。

“When a photo can move you in an unexplainable way, it is the best photo. The comprehensible emotions can be easily forgotten, but the unexplainable ones always stay in your mind.” Feeling is what stays, it seems temporary yet it can last eternally.

The series of photos and the book exist because of light. Let’s go into this piece of glittering woods and see the irreproducible moments that the photographer/writer experienced.

「36」EXHIBITION & BOOK LAUNCH by Tang Ho Lun

2019.5.18 (Sat) – 6.2 (Sun)
Mon & Tue : closed
Wed – Fri : 2-8pm
Sat & Sun : 12-7pm
A Beautiful Store
3/F, 194 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong
※ Photographer at the store : 2019.5.24 (6-8pm) & 5.26 (3-5pm)