Artist Jukhee Kwon creates unique work for the Literature Festival

Jukhee Kwon The Book of Galileo at Asia House

Jukhee Kwon's sculpture The Book of Galileo is 3.2 metres long and made of cut paper.

Artist Jukhee Kwon creates unique work for the Literature Festival

06 May 2014

By Pamela Kember

South Korean-born artist Jukhee Kwon, now based in Italy, has created a stunningly unique sculptural bookwork to mark our 2014 Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival.

Visitors will be very surprised to encounter the display in the stairwell of our striking 18th Century townhouse. The book appears as if shedding its leaves as it falls from space, yet held in a precarious balance between its open book covers and a mass of plié-foldings that resemble a judge’s periwig.

So what is this book?  The Book of Galileo (2014), the title given by the Kwon, is an early edition of the writings of the Italian mathematician and father of modern science Galileo Galilei.   Supporting Copernicus’s revolutionary theory that the earth moves around the sun, Galileo further discovered, with his built telescope that moons were also revolving around planets. Controversial as his ideas were in their day, the sculpture reminds us of those individuals who have changed our way of seeing and of thinking about the world, and our relationship to nature and to progress.

The mass of finely cut pages held together by its bindings, still holds the treaties of Galileo’s astronomical observations, yet glimpsed as fragments or singular words hidden deep amongst the cascading paper forest.

Jukhee Kwon The Book of Galileo at Asia House

Jukhee Kwon’s book sculpture at Asia House is a real book shredded by hand

For Asia House, the symbol of the sun, emerging like a star from atop an ellipse, reinforces our vision towards orienting East and developing greater awareness and understanding of the diverse and vibrant arts that are reflected in the great Asian cultures of the past as much as the present and beyond.

As a transnational figure, Jukhee Kwon inspires us to see beyond language, beyond difference, to remain at the threshold of the book ‘whose every page is an abyss but where the wings shine with the name’ (Edmond Jabes, From the Book to the Book 1991).

Juhkee Kwon studied Fine Art at Chung-Ang University, Seoul, before obtaining an MA from Camberwell College of Arts, London. She has exhibited internationally, and her work is included in various collections. She now lives and works in Italy.

Kwon creates her stunning sculptures quite literally from the printed page. Using abandoned and disused books, she shreds the pages by hand.

Much of her work plays with ideas of destruction and re-creation. The book becomes an object of art brought back to life.


Asia House Young Leaders enjoyed a closer view of Kwon’s book sculptures at a private view of her exhibition at the October Gallery in December 2013. There, she talked about how she felt inspired by the book and how she breathed new life into the text by creating a new work. You can read the full story here.

Jukhee Kwon’s work is courtesy of the artist and the October Gallery.  You can read more about the artist here.

The Book of Galileo will be on display at Asia House throughout May to coincide with the Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival.  You can take a look at the Literature Festival programme here.

Jukhee Kwon The Book of Galileo at Asia House

Kwon has sliced The Book of Galileo (2014) to shreds to create this sculpture, which is on display at Asia House