My background is in literary scholarship and teaching, but I was never satisfied by grading student papers or writing them myself. What invigorated me were the conversations we had in class and the discoveries I could make on my own while reading for myself. Usually, these dialogues that take place between engaged readers, texts and authors go unremarked and undervalued, but those dialogues are what constitute critical reading. My mission has, therefore, been to remark upon and physically show the value of reading. I have taken it upon myself to make visual the experience of reading and flaunt the creative and analytical energies that reading can release.
To this end, I have focused my attention entirely on one beguiling, profound and maddening book, Haruki Murakami’s novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Page by page, I have been translating into images my love affair with this book, transforming my blank English copy of the novel into a new work of art. The last few years have had me reading and re-reading the book and generating drawings, paintings, etchings, wood-cuts and lithographs within the book itself. These images glorify and illustrate the text; they also curate, obscure, edit, question and even poke fun at the novel. What may have remained as my scribbled comments in the book’s margins has become a full-throated critical response that demonstrates how creative impulse and rigorous analyses can coalesce.