Collage, Ink, Lithograph, Marker pen, Paint, tsunaminagashi
18 × 12 × .75 in
Brooklyn, NY, Queens, NY
CollectionCollection Development, Unique Books
University of Miami
This book has numerous layers all related to water. Collaged nautical maps of southern Florida from the 1980s have been printed on by sTo Len using his personal tsunaminagashi printing technique. sTo then collaged and bound the pages into a book form upon which Marshall Weber has hand-written his favorite poem, Thorn. The words in the poem use the nature of fluidity to convey the turbulence of our emotional lives and deaths. Words from the poem, “bleed, dam, awash, harbored, flow, tide”, and “sink” mingle with the words on the maps and swirl around the newly imagined and illustrated bodies of water created by sTo.
The Better Boating Association maps in the book are primarily from iconic southern Florida waterways and islands of the Gulf of Mexico, including the resort town of Sanibel Island, the missile testing site south of Cape San Blas, and parts of the Keys and the Everglades. What better state (of mind) than Florida to convey the element of fluidity and water bound existence?
The title page is formed by suminagashi-marbled Joss paper by sTo, with upcycled Exacto knife razor blade lettering by Weber. The same for the credit page minus the razor blades.
Notes on the printing technique from sTo Len:
“Tsunaminagashi is my adaption of the Japanese marbling technique suminagashi, or floating ink, that collaborates with water to create monprints of moments in a water’s history. It is a collaboration with water—you cannot control it and make it do exactly what you want. Instead, you work with it and allow each of your brush strokes to be taken over, spiraling into the water’s currents, guiding the floating ink infinitely, patterning, pooling, settling. I have let paintings float for days, thrown leaves and dirt in the water, collected rain water, river water, and encased the water in sealed containers -all of which have their effects. Suminagashi has aided in my own unlearning of anthropocentrism; I have given up total control and instead, happily allow her to choreograph my movements. What will happen? It has since become quite the love affair. I’ve introduced colors, worked in oil drums, buckets, bowls, and inflatable swimming pools. Water was now the subject of my work as well as the medium, the canvas, and the compass, helping me navigate from one project to the next.”