The NMTL presents you “The Small Butterfly in the Book: Selected Children Ex-Libris from the Collection of Sasaki Yasuyuki,” showing a precious collection of bookplates, also known as ex-libris, donated by Sasaki Yasuyuki, the collector. The bookplates produced by contemporary masters of the art in Japan, China, and Taiwan are the pearls on the books, the butterflies in the books, and fascinating treasures of the art.
The bookplates on show at the exhibition are Mr. Sasaki Yasuyuki’s free donation. The NMTL has selected bookplates from the donation that are relevant to children and put on display for the first time, offering the audience an opportunity to see the beauty of ex-libris and understand the spiritual and cultural implication of book-loving behind the ex-libris.
A bookplate is a miniature printmaking. It gives us a miniature version of social changes and of life that spans across ages, in addition to the artistic value and the cultural history. Most of bookplates on the exhibition are the works by famous printmaking artists, including Yonejiro Sato, Yoshio Kanamori, Akira Funamizu, Yang Yilei, Pan Yuanshih, and Huang Sanquan, among others. In an ex-libris, every detail has a story, harboring secret language between the creator of the bookplate and the owner of the bookplate. For example, life-related bookplates include “A Wooden Horse,” “The Little Boy Riding a Wooden Horse,” “The Girl Wearing an Orchid on Her Head,” and bookplates related to the history of Tainan, such as “The Sword and the Lion,” and “Fort Provintia and Koxinga.” They all are worthy of savoring.
The target audiences of this exhibition are parents-and-children. Telling stories is the way we use to introduce bookplates to the public. We use plain graphs and texts to explain the origins of the bookplates, production methods, and their applications, so that children can understand the relationship between books and bookplates. Coupling with children's picture books relevant to the bookplates, we extend the understanding to the characters, backgrounds, and stories on the bookplates, while promoting the arts and reading.
The NMTL has engaged Woodblock artist Huang Senquan of Taiwan to give lectures and manual workshops, in addition to enjoying visually the beauty of the bookplates. The lecture on July 18 is “Apart from Books, There Are Bookplates” to introduce the history and the origins and to explore the creation and the story of the ex-libris. Manual workshops are carried out on August 1 for an adult group and on August 8, Father’s Day, for a special parents-and child group. Through actual production, every participant can design a bookplate exclusive for his/her beloved book, making a bookplate part of the record of life.
Figure 1 In the exhibition, various themes and images are present. With colors and playful, delight approaches, we appreciate and understand bookplates, and accompanied by the relevant children's picture books, we can articulate the bookplates with the reading.
Figure 2 Wood engraving table. The first step of making bookplates starts from this kind of table. We show you woodcut rendering tools and simple wood engraving, or woodblock.
Figure 3 “Manual Workshop: How to Make Bookplates” for adult groups is designed to demonstrate how to make bookplates with model papers and trapping, which produce lucid, elegant bookplates. An approach suitable for women.
Figure 4 “Manual Workshop: How to Make Bookplates,” a first experience shared by parents and children in making resin bookplates.