Book Arts

Veronika Schäpers is a German book artist who lived and worked in Japan for 15 years. Japanese culture and aesthetics have marks in almost all of her projects. Plastic, acrylic, latex, felt, wood, oil, and vintage tissue are some of the unusual materials she uses in her books.

“I am an artist who makes folded things, objects that some define as books.” —V. Schapers, Berkeley, CA 2013

“Coming to Japan almost a decade ago with a scholarship after graduation I joined a paper shop in the Bunkyo ward of Tokyo for an internship. The extraordinary selection of paper and the very traditional hierarchy I experienced during the day stood in a harsh contrast to what happened outside this small shop. The love and openness to new materials and techniques side by side to the awareness of the tradition is what really impresses me and I feel very close to. It is e.g. not the empty tatami-style room you find in Tokyo but small apartments filled with stuffed toys and flat screen Televisions as well as old chests and valuable ceramics.”

“This describes very much my working situation in Japan, on the one hand I love the refined working materials and tools you can get and for most of my projects these are the starting point. But I also begin to add on a certain point very ordinary or non-valuable materials and techniques taken from daily life which evoke a new visual and haptic experience. The very starting point of every book is the text I select to work with and while reading and thinking about it I start to collect materials which could be used.”