Gabriel Orozco, ‘Suisai’

Orozco had been based in Tokyo while preparing this exhibition, with all the works made in his apartment there. He then applied his usual working methods: finding local materials that are to-hand, Orozco sets himself a few basic methodological rules, as if he were engaging in a kind of fictional exercise. In this case, he taught himself the art of watercolour (‘suisai’ in Japanese), painting on gold cardboard in standard sizes, all readily available from a nearby art supplier. The size of his brush was specific to Japanese tradition; the gold – in this context – was not a precious material but a light-reflective ground for exploring the material properties of watercolour.

In close collaboration with the artist, we designed a catalogue that plays with repetition. The reproduced artworks are organised in such a way as to reflect the actual exhibition, and the book is wrapped in a gold yellow cloth, flowing into moss-green Japanese endpapers. Briony Fer’s essay, written in concise paragraphs, is woven through the whole book rather than occupying a single separate chapter, but given spatial coherence by finishing each paragraph in alignment with the start of the next. The overall effect is that text and image are read together as one, continuous experience.

  • Year: 2017
  • Client: White Cube
  • Location: Hong Kong
  • Category: Publication

Photography: Thomas Adank