- Hoffberg, Judith edited., "Umbrella", Vol. 27, No. 2-3, August 2004, p.66-67. (South California, USA) Artist's Book Review: "Interior"


Tsang Kin-wah: Interior (Hong Kong, 2003, $20.00 paper) is a stunning example of a bookwork that has a traditional basis, but is of the 21th century, discussing Image, Text and Foul Language. Here visual poetry takes over in a decorative way even though the words are four-letter and beyond. It becomes wallpaper, it becomes visually exciting, it moves and dances across the page and across the wall.

The artist took William Morris as his matrix and creates a decorative visual text which became an installation at the Camberwell College of Arts London Institute, translating it later into a bookwork with discussion of what he did. From a hand silkscreened wallpaper, the book gives closer and closer views of the text, which reveals itself as four-letter words and obscenities.

The discussion in the book reveals how the combination of foul language (text) with Morris' floral pattern (image) and arranging the text in the form of flowers and plants, which are swirling and running throughout the space, helps to link up their organic force which undergirds both Nature and humanity. He quotes Hal Foster. "The artist becomes a manipulator of signs more than a producer of art object, and the viewer an active reader of messages rather than a passive contemplator of the aesthetic or consumer of the spectacular." Tsang graduated with an M. A. in Book Arts from Camberwell. This is a stunning work, showing the artist at work knowing his ethnic roots and traditions, the finished installation in the room (a fold-out) and has a biography at the back.