A couple from Italy creates sculptures out of folded books. They fold every page by hand! We talked with Anna Bonino, one of the founders of Crizu. She thinks Crizu is similar to Sanayi 313 in terms of combining old traditions with modern designs. read more
A couple from Italy creates sculptures out of folded books. They fold every page by hand! We talked with Anna Bonino, one of the founders of Crizu. She thinks Crizu is similar to Sanayi 313 in terms of combining old traditions with modern designs.
How did you come up with the idea of turning books into sculptures by folding them?
As these things often happen, the idea of transforming books into sculptures came by an unexpected chance. We used to live in New York City. One day, in a super high-end oriental antiquities shop, we noticed a book placed in a theca, which had cuts running through the pages creating a beautiful design. We loved it so much, we tried to replicate the effect with the books we had at home. But we did not dare to cut. So, we began to fold! That is how it all began. All our paper sculptures today are hand folded, page after page, here in Italy and nothing is cut away apart from the front cover. We are transforming books into modern and sophisticated design objects. We now generally use old obsolete Italian books that go from the 1920’s till the 1990’s. Each book can be considered ‘one of a kind’ piece for two books are never alike to begin with, and it is impossible for us to make two sculptures identical.
When someone sees your folded books for the first time, what is the general reaction?
Actually the reactions are very personal and fascinating. I always find it interesting to listen to how people engage with our folded books. Our books awake the most different impressions but the most frequent emotion, that combines them all, is curiosity and wonder. Almost all people appeal to books. They are a strong part of our cultural heritage for their contents and treasure, but also as objects in their own right - beautiful objects we all adore. The idea of transforming an obsolete book, forgotten on a shelf, into a new concept, a new life, a design object is actually quite powerful to many.
If you were to create an abstract sculpture from an unusual material other than books, what would it be?
We actually do. On a very private and reduced scale, we make particular works of sculpture on old wooden trunks. We clean them bare of their bark until they are smoothly pleasant to the touch and eye. Then we begin to write, with special pens, long selections of texts from our favorite readings: Anna Karenina, War and Peace, The Book of Job, A Room with a View etc. The idea is again: word, man, knowledge, nature and art. All combined together quite simply, but with great strength.
When we reached you from Turkey for the folded books, how did you feel?
We were thrilled and immensely pleased. Istanbul and Turkey in general, are such fascinating places and it is impossible not to be impressed by your profound culture and incredible sense of esthetic. For our sculptures to be a part of this, is a great opportunity and we are very grateful. It is fantastic when the sense of heritage is still felt beneath the new forms of modern living and design (talking about 313). In a way, just as our books!
Have you ever been to Turkey? If yes, what were your favorite destinations? Which historical places, structures, neighborhoods gave you inspiration?
Yes! But, I have been only to Istanbul up to now. The trip was a wedding gift from a dear family friend who treated my husband and I to a magnificent weekend in your fabulous city. It was a long last dream of mine to visit this fantastic city I have always read about in my history and art books during my studies. A city, a melting pot that goes back for centuries. I was overwhelmed. We spent most of our time visiting the historical sites of Topkapı Palace, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the very colorful market, parks and a marvelous cruise on the Bosporus and other wonderful places and monuments. At night the restaurants gave us a flash of how vibrant the city is. We had great fun Fenix.
It was impossible for me not to bring back home inspirations and energy from such a place.
Where do you take your inspiration in life?
Inspirations are mysterious! I suppose from the people I meet, the places I visit. Nature is a big inspiration for me, in the sense that it gives me peace. The beauty you see in nature really touches your heart and soul. I guess life is just one big inspiration! The best ideas sometimes also come from mistakes or when things come out different as to how they were planned. And they are more beautiful than the original idea! This is actually the aspect I prefer the most. The idea that things can be totally unpredictable… Very exciting.
What are your plans about your sculptures for 2016?
We are working on some new models of folds for our sculptures, especially for our wall pieces. It also always depends on what books we come across. It is the book that dictates the outcome. We have a lot of new ideas actually! We are also thinking of introducing mirrors in order to appreciate movement of the folds more. A lot of surprises! I hope you will be interested!
TAGS: CRIZU,FOLDED BOOKS, SCULPTURE