Collage, Digital print, Ink
12 × 12 in
CollectionLimited Edition Artists Books
1 in stock
Library of Congress (LoC)
University of California, Berkeley (UCB), The Bancroft Library
University of Southern California (USC)
Later Heaven is inspired by the ancient ‘book’ or divination manual currently called the I Ching, or Yi Jing. Also known as The Book of Changes, it can be traced back as far as 3000 years in written form, and it was probably passed down as oral tradition for 2000 years before that. I Ching is an ancient set of symbols and their interpretations are often used as an oracle. It is accompanied by a system of 64 hexagrams where each one defines an archetypical event or universal experience of living. Each hexagram is comprised of two trigrams positioned one above the other. Each trigram is made of three lines where the line is either broken or solid. If one calculates all the possible combinations of the two choices, broken or solid, in groups of three stacked in a vertical pile, the total number of possible combinations is eight. Therefore, the fundamental building blocks of the I Ching are the eight Ba Gua, or trigrams, defined as Qian or heaven, Kun or earth, Li or fire, Kan or water, Xun or wind, Zhen or thunder, Dui or lake, and Gen or mountain. Later Heaven contains subjective illustrations of these eight trigrams using photo-collage and poetry derived from translations of the ancient text. The book reflects the way the I Ching combines the trigrams into sixty-four hexagrams by combining two trigrams, one stacked on the other, by having two sets of pages bound one above the other using two spines so that the upper set of pages can be turned or read separately from the lower set of pages. Thus the eight trigram’s illustrations can be mixed and combined in 64 different ways by the reader. The book is called Later Heaven after a traditional name of one of the many possible ways of sequencing the Ba Gua.
Later Heaven is printed on 55gsm Moab Moenkopi Unryu rice paper using Epson pigment-based inks. Each book is hand-bound by Dana Smith using a variation of a coptic binding with two spines, one at the top and the other at the bottom to enable the creation of the various hexagrams by the reader. The cover is digitally printed on silk moire bookbinding material over boards. Each book is housed in a custom hand-made box. Signed by the artist and blind stamped.