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The act of recycling printed matter speaks volumes about the obsolescence of technology: The easier the discarding, the more we run the risk of discarding cultural memories that might be contained in the material, and the artist uses this as an opportunity to jog our memory, and to create a bridge between old and new.
Chen Long-Bin recreates (or rather re-enacts) the process of figuration hewn from the elemental. This is a process carried out not only by humans, but also by the natural world, such as bird’s nests, hives and so on, constructed from materials in the environment. Even birds weave all flotsam that we leave behind into their nests.
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Modernity has allowed us to create objects from materials found anywhere in the world. But in the ancient world, whatever materials were at hand–or that could humanly transported and manipulated–became the primary medium for the arts and crafts. We see this same process happening in architecture now, where building materials are taken from nearby resources, that also mimic the shape of the landscape. (Think Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright)
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To recycle material is to also recycle time, and perhaps to give reverence to all the people and places contained in the recycled books. No one likes to throw away books, and Chen Long-Bin’s sculptures gives one a sense of relief that they were duly immortalized.
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chen long bins art sculptures

-Lee Barry


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