To celebrate its first anniversary, the Shanghai Pearl Art Museum collaborated with Edén Barrena, an artist, and Bananafish Books to commission the special edition of the book created by Edén, called The Promise of Blooming.
At 3 p.m. on the last day of 2018(December 31st), Edén Barrena, Guan Wei, founder of Bananafish and Li Dandan, Executive Director of the Pearl Art Museum will be invited to a relaxed conversation at the Center of Light Space, sharing interesting topics about the museum’s first anniversary, art and reading, artist’s books, book residency projects and printing in risograph, etc.
Edén Barrena, born in Badajoz, Spain in 1991, studied Fine Arts in Spain and Germany during her college and graduated with a master's degree in printmaking from the Royal College of Art in London.
Having been interested in the relationship between the self and the other, and in the estrangement and conflicts caused by this encounter, Edén has been involved in art projects of printmaking, hand-painting, animation, photography etc. to express her consideration of how things contrast before and after her observation and she is always willing to share such feelings with the audience.
Edén is the second artist joining the Bananafish Books residency project. This artist book is also the result of this residency plan, which shows plants and flowers that Edén observed and drew in the residents of old neighborhoods in Shanghai. The founder of Bananafish Books, Guan Wei, served as the art director for the book, engaging in the whole process of a book from being created to RISO-printed with color separation in a small scale. During her residency, Edén would come to the PauseBread Press after getting off from her daily work to print her own work piece by piece, color by color.
As a limited and customized edition launched at the time of the first anniversary of the Pearl Art Museum, we specially invited Guan Wei to design a commemorative book box with a limited edition print on as an addition to the original artist book. A total of 365 sets were printed-just a perfect number that represents the one-year milestone.
Therefore, at the end of 2018, this artist book which manifests a micro-Shanghai with flowers and plants will be opened as a gift on the date of PAM’s first anniversary. From sketches to colors in over 150 drawings of flowers and plants in Shanghai's old alleys, you’ll find the “god of creation” exists in every detail as pages are turned.
Over a year since I moved to Shanghai, the city’s facilities have been constantly being renovated, which has brought great changes to the city. Such frequent changes are sometimes overwhelming but confusing at the same time, which bring a different ethos of time for some ancient Shanghai blocks under the shadow of modern architecture.
When I walked into the old town, what was fascinated me most was the flowers and plants that were taken well care by the residents in Shanghai’s Longtang, like a naturally formed urban botanical garden. Over the past few months I have visited many of these neighborhoods and kept these garden plants on record. Drawing, which only requires paper and pen, is the most ideal way to observe, record, and explore the unknown. By observing and depicting the gestures of each leaf and flower, I was able to peek into the micro and booming life living in this city with a population of 24 million.
—— Edén Barrena
The Pearl Art Museum (PAM) was an architecture designed by Tadao Ando known as the "Light Space", with an egg-shaped structure that implies birth and hope.
As an art museum dedicated to connecting art with reading, the collaboration with Edén and Bananafish also showcases our love of art and books, so that our fleeting experience that has given this city and our life what they have over the past year can be retained in a special way.
In the past year, PAM has held three international exhibitions on the theme of architecture, art publishing and digital art creation. Meanwhile, it has consistently organized many public educational activities to promote art and reading. Its self- exploration and perseverance give us so much more to expect on the occasion of its first anniversary.
Every year, flowers never miss its blossom while trees realize seasonal changes through their leaves, branches and fruits. We sincerely hope that in the coming year, more people will light up their lives through art and embark on a real "the promise of blooming".