- Worm Book
Worm Book

Worm Book: Book Worm I, II & III

In Hong Kong, I purchased a severely worm-eaten book from an old street peddler. Turning the pages of my treasure, as bits of pages began to flutter to the ground, I determined to preserve it. I tried to halt the disintegration first by pasting a few fragments and pages into my journal and then into three blank accordion books—with gold and orange money-for-burning providing a background for the worm-eaten pages. Two of the volumes were devoted primarily to the act of preserving pages while at the same time honoring their worm-eaten patterns by trying to make them as beautiful as I could.

In the third volume, however, I began to question my motives. I speculated on “The idea of possession,” “The idea of preserving,” “The idea of cultural theft,” The idea of violation,” and the “Idea of unenlightened cherishing” — the idea that I was preserving a text I couldn’t even read. From these speculations came the 2004 exhibition title “Plundering and Preserving China.”

Worm Book [22 page accordion book], 2003, fully extended size, 19 3/4 X 148