Enigmatic. Fragile. Subtle. Frustrating. Sensual. Mundane. All these words describe the work of Yasushi Cho.
Yasushi Cho also goes under the publishing name Laughter, which I initially thought was the title of this book, perhaps latching onto something less abstract than the simple two lettered 'LR'. This is a mistake all the more because LR is a very abstract book.
It references the visual and tactile elements of everyday electronic appliances. it has real red white and black connectors that can click in and out of sockets all connected by the thinnest of black thread, these threads then connect and are in fact physically bound to tiny abstract glossy booklets that are slotted inside the outer black case.
DVD Players, Hi-definition televisions, Hi-fis, Speakers: Sleek black forms that slide in and out of each other at the touch of a velvety button. It could be any of these, but it is none and all of them. It is the modern home gadget distilled to its meaningless essence. It is the desirable perfect black glossy box, mystifying and magical.
These devices we covet can also exasperate us. When they simply refuse to work, to bend to our will, to swoon to our caress. LR provides the ultimate archetype of this feeling: you can tinker and fiddle with it but never quite get it to 'work' or to 'do' what one thinks a book should. And whilst one plays with all these elements (very very carefully for this is an incredibly delicate construction) trying to doggedly discover its function as a book, the frustration turns to joy upon the realisation that it is all so pointless. There isn't really much difference between this 'pointless' artist' book and the new smart phone that I received yesterday in the post and have been all day tinkering and poking with carnal delight alongside Yasushi Cho's LR.
LR by Yasushi Cho is in a limited edition of 45 copies and costs £22. It is available in the Bookartbookshop now.
- Jon Lander