I love a good wanderlust inspiring travel book, and seeing this piece of art by Jonathan Lim of Where Art Jon at the Noise Singapore 2013 The Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum 8Q really gave me some serious travel vibes.
‘Benches’ consists is a wordless graphic novel that Jonathan created based on the overall theme for the exhibition “If The World Changed” and I love the travelling and in-transit theme that flows throughout the work. There might not be any words, but just the strong imagery of journeying and landscapes got me thinking about my own travels and the sights I see.
And while it seems rather normal looking at first glance and in these pix, what makes it really cool is that the entire book is completely hand-stitched. Seriously – those lines are all thread and painstakingly hand-sewn by himself. Major props!
You have to see this work in person to truly appreciate it; the tactile feeling of the lines and the physical weight of the book add something to it. I had the pleasure of meeting Jon and asking him a little bit about his work, which he replied me in email. I’ll let him tell you more about his work himself:
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for this work.
Jon: The idea for the story started off from the question of whether we can ever really find someone again after we’ve lost them. Given a huge theme like “If The World Changed”, I narrowed it down to the personal worlds we each inhabit as individuals. So the story is also a lot about the protagonist navigating his own world.
So, why hand-stitch this book instead of drawing or printing it? How long did it take you to complete?
Jon: I chose thread as a visual metaphor for human relationships; the ties that bind. I felt it might be conceptually interesting that the thing which holds the book together is also the very thing which tells the story. I guess the amount of time spent on each page is my way of saying, “this story is important to me, I hope you’ll give it a chance.”
I took 5-6 hours for each page spread from start to finish, it includes the brainstorming/thumbnail-sketching for how best to portray each scene, the gathering of photo references, vectoring, and hole-plotting.
Impressed? Intrigued? Follow his Facebook page Where Art Jon – I’m quite fond of his quirky stuff.
All pix used with permission and provided by Jonathan Lim
Disclaimer: I was working with Noise Singapore as a part of my day job, I was not obliged to share it on my own platforms but I thought this was really pretty and it did inspire me to wanderlust :)
Looking for more art posts? Here’s a little about art appreciation as a complete amateur on your travels, or a little game I play called Hypothetical Mansion when I feel a bit overwhelmed by art.