Like a bundle of secret documents, a soft piece of felt is wrapped around the body of this book and tied with a thread of raffia. Then calligraphic daubs of ink darken the creamy natural white of the paper, page by page until you become immersed in a new world. The strong, tough paper contains texts in filigree Chinese type, with some smears of watery ink here and there – traces of the artists’ work, printing ink that has seeped through or been discarded? An illusion – the linen tester reveals screen dots. Visual gems are peeled away: folded, ultra-delicate pieces of rice paper are worked into the book’s layers; printed only on one side, they bear calligraphy and tusche painting – mostly a combination of the whole sheet and a large detailed section. The reader works through the book carefully because it appears so vulnerable with its assortment of papers, the stitch binding with open spine, and the secretive beginning. You therefore handle the artistic pages with extra caution – the book, illustrations and observations blend to form a contemplative whole. This corresponds good to the pedagogical motive of the whole project – in the words of Confucius: the Pleasure of Learning.

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