Chinese Binding

Chinese editorial design today


Kulturkeller Winkel, Winkelriedstr. 12


29.9.18 / 2pm

The exhibition presents the work of Chinese book designers today, which is characterised by a hybrid of traditional methods and modern means. Contemporary aesthetics are shaped by centuries-old craftsmanship as well as advanced technologies.

The exhibition presents an overview of Chinese book design and bookbinding today. The works shown in the exhibition are influenced by the designers’ various backgrounds and origins but also by traditional craftsmanship as well as modern techniques. The different approaches and aesthetics proof that contemporary Chinese editorial design is as dynamic and vibrant as ever.

The tradition of Chinese bookbinding goes back to the time of the Ming Dynasty where the mode of small workshops and employing skilful craftsmen was prevailing. Manual production processes made every book subtly different. Woodcuts were used to apply the ink and texts were printed on thin rice paper that was folded to increase the thickness and stitched with soft lines. Today, most Chinese books are designed and printed just as they are in Europe: Layouts are created on computers and books are produced on large machines. Some designers though are re-discovering the work of their ancestors and applying traditional methods again. They combine elements such as the paper folding and stitching with modern means and methods to create new interpretations of traditional craftsmanship.


Jianping He (Berlin)


Wanja Manzardo (Lucerne) and Samuel Steiner (Lucerne)