Project 4/6: Stance

This book stand is a physical manifestation of how I see Japanese language. 本 [hon] is the kanji for “book”. This character is seen in the kanji for the word meaning “Japanese language”. Being inadequately fluent, I don’t see the written language—hiragana, katakana, and mostly kanji—to represent a word or have an obvious translation. More so, I see a balanced visual structure of elements arranged to create positive and negative space.

I constructed this book stand in the order in which the character is written. There are five strokes and I used five respective, forgotten scraps of bamboo. The dimensions of this design could vary but these predetermined dimensions are based on remaining pieces I found.

立本 is not meant to be perfect—in fact, it is quite flawed. It is crooked, unstable and inharmonious. It is a somewhat functional object whose meaning outshines the beauty and practicality. The most curved part is already tearing and could easily break if too much pressure is applied.