Book-Review: The Art of Luke Chueh - Bearing The Unbearable by Titan Books


Truth be told, it took a few days for me to assemble a collection of words which could best describe this book, and of my personal experience with this book, without it reading like a soppy love-lorn letter. And while I am indeed soaked to the skin with soppiness, perhaps 'sentimentality' might not do this book justice, although ironically it too is riddled with, but instead it is in lieu of a man's personal journey thru life, as told via words describing his art. This is the one precious aspect of the book which brings it apart from other books in this genre.

"Luke Chueh is a complex man. You don't get it right away, looking at his simple woodland creatures, all that empty space, but he's got a lot bubbling underneath. I've called him trailblazer since he appointed himself my first assistant during his time with Cannibal Flower, and he's lived up to the name, making paths, leaving something scorched but visually beautiful…" ~L. Croasky (2003).
I really like the notion of an artists's publication, whereby his/her own artworks are viewable unto the printed page (much like my numerous Taschen book for architecture and interior design - collected vivaciously when I was practicing 'design'). Or perhaps it is a reaction to seeing online images, versus seeing them collected into a single volume (rather than a single piece), that endears the notion to me. And with that anticipation, I gleefully ripped apart the cling-wrap for the latest book from Luke Chueh, titled "The Art of Luke Chueh: Bearing The Unbearable"


First the utilitarian stats for the book: Sized 310mm x 228mm, this hardcover book features 192 pages featuring contents ranging from text and testimonials, to illustrations, paintings and custom toy pictures. Years covered sequentially here are between 2003 to 2009. Release on June first, 2012, the book is authored by Luke Chueh and Gallery 1998. Published by Titan Books, you can purchase one online for £24.99 here.

"…What also struck me were the little red 'sold' dots scattered across the show. When I looked at the price sheet, I was taken aback by hoe humble his prices were. That was when I realized it wasn't how large the price of the art but rather, the fact that someone believed enough in the work to invest, even if it's little money, in the art" ~Luke Chueh on Deth P Sun's first solo show at Giant Robot.
Personable, emotive (as emotive as Luke' infamous "Emo Bear" and menagerie of characters in dismay and anguished situations) and downright handsome (and by that, I meant how the book looks), I have since decided to describe this book in two words: "Must" and "Have". It is as simple as that.

Peek more page-snaps posted on THIS Facebook-album, and as well check with your fav retailers for availability. This is a heap slice of art culture in it's subversive cutest, with a personality of the artist bleeding into the pages.

(Also my sincere thanks to Tom Green of Titan, for his awesomeness!)