Artist Books, Contemporary, Gallery Updates, New Additions

Illustrated Books by Su-Li Hung

In addition to our current retrospective of Su-Li Hung and Richard Sloat’s woodcuts, the gallery is currently offering several of Su-Li’s books for sale. A printmaker and poet, Su-Li has published over 30 articles and books, and we are happy to be able to present three of them at the gallery: “Meeting the Marvelous Phoenix”, “Little Lily’s Birth Journey”, and  “Trees of Takao”.

Last week, we took a quick look at Hung’s book of poetry “Trees of Takao”. Today, we are showcasing  her two children’s books, “Meeting the Marvelous Phoenix” and “Little Lily’s Birth Journey”. Beautifully illustrated with woodcuts and paintings, these books are sweet and whimsical.

“Little Lily’s Birth  Journey” follows the birth  “journey” of baby Lily, from womb to delivery. Baby Lily travels via floating yellow balloons through fields of lily flowers, past smiling moons and rainbow bridges, and encounters animals, plants, and even vegetables. Each page is artfully illustrated, and offers the text in both English and Chinese.

In the afterword for the book, Hung writes:

” Between the first contradiction until the final delivery, is our common yet unique journey of a baby’s birth. Little Lily’s birth journey took 36 hours. Since it was a happy ending, we can imagine here birth journey as a joyful and meandering one. 

This book encourages parents and children to take their birth journey together again. It is such an incredible  unique journey, a beautiful and precious experience.”

“Meeting the Marvelous Phoenix” tells the tale of Lily as a young girl, exploring the woods of her grandparents’ country house in Taiwan  Walking through bamboo fields and dancing trees, she spots different colorful birds, and watches misty clouds hang on tree branches, changing into fanciful shapes. Finally, from one large cloud emerges the fanciful Phoenix.

In the afterword, Hung writes:

“In the old Chinese myth, every five hundred years a phoenix is born, bringing the world the promise of renewal. I think every new-born baby brings the promise of renewal as well. 

The Monkey King in the Chinese folk story was born from a rock, while the magic boy, Momotarosan, from the Japanese folk story, was born from a peach. I imagined a phoenix born from a cloud because many times, I have seen a sunrise, or a sunset cloud, dragging splendid golden feather through the sky, like a flying phoenix  I think it is quite possible for the beautiful phoenix from the ancient legend to be born from a cloud.”

All three of Hung’s books can be purchased in our gallery, by phone, or viewed on our website, here.


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