Themis Kung

Post-Parted Document

Class of: 2024

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Artist's book (accordion book with french fold cover), mixed media (mulberry paper, mixed media paper, tracing paper, masking tape, gouache, ballpoint pen

Faculty: Rachel Urkowitz

Prompt: Make a handmade book using the ideas and visual themes that speak to you from the research done from the last bridge project about an artist and their work. Go where it takes you, follow the thread of memory and the past, and how it connects to your present.

This project acted as the final bridge project for my integrative seminar 1 class. The assignment was to create an artist’s book revolving around an artist we had researched for the previous bridge project and to link it to our final essays in our studio class. The book draws on my experience and acts as an amalgamation of all the work we did on investigating memory, both scientifically and thematically, in my studio and seminar 1 class. I had researched Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document (PPD) which is often regarded as the first piece of artwork that explored the motherchild relationship through the perspective of a woman, subverting the male gaze. I approached the assignment by creating a response book inspired by the themes and topics explored in the work, as well as incorporate my own elements of illustrations and humor. My aim was to ask the artist and explore some of the questions which developed from further research upon writing my seminar essay. As the ‘post-parted’ I wanted to explore the mother-child relationship from the child’s perspective. I used similar techniques to Kelly, such as interviewing my mother and using collected items to create my book. Many of the visuals in the book are drawn from a health record booklet, which has followed me since birth, and some childhood photos. The final project is an accordion book consisting of 18 pages with a french fold cover.