Bing Lee. Picto Diary after 1983

BING LEE, Picto Diary after 1983. print on rice paper. New York, 1993

One of the best thing about travelling is finding new magazines, books (old or new), newspapers or zines… I so love it!

Last week in New York, I found a gem: Picto Diary after 1983 by BING LEE at the Mercer Street Books & Records – I don’t know if this bookshop is well known or not but it’s absolutely worth the trip. You can find a massive selection of used, out-of-print and even some new books about architecture, design, art (inclusive exhibition catalogues), poetry and many more subjects. It’s simple: I could have bought the entire shop!

BING LEE is a Cantonese-born resident of New York city where he established the BING LEE Studio in 1990, and has been commissioned to design and install site-specific public art projects like the Canal Street Subway Station among others. He is also a founding member of Godzilla-Asian American Arts Network, Epoxy Art Group in New York, and Visual Art Society in Hong Kong.

The visual vocabulary developed in the “Picto Diary” becomes a significant portrayal of his work and involves Calligraphic Automatism which is based on intuitive drawing in order to unleash hidden emotions, dreams and desires. Picto Diary after 1983 compiles a monthly selection of pictograms reflective of political events, or private states of mind, and this, from 1983 to 1991. So intimate. No need to say that I love this book!

Eastern and Western modes of communication meet in BING LEEs Picto Diary. Are his images visual poetry, westernized pictograms, intellectual puzzles, or dream concoctions? That they may be read in all these ways is the secret to the pleasure they provide. – by ELEANOR HEARTNEY

Make sure to watch online the 2000-2001 Picto Diary!

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