Saturday, June 4, 2016

#WeekendChronicles: Secret Lives of Books

Finally, an update in eons! Apologies, for blogging seems to take a backseat in my life these past few days. But hey, I'm here to at least water this dried up place. Here goes:

I remember RTing a article regarding this exhibit but for some reason totally forgot about it. But alas, Saturday errands accidentally brought us to this. Chanced upon the last day (look how lucky I was) of Karl Castro's Secret Lives of Books at Ayala Museum. It was a free exhibit, so we checked it out anyway. 

Karl Castro has been working on books for the 12 years now and has been collaborating with different writers in bringing their books to the public eye. It's weird, I realized, the way we give so little applause and interest on the persons behind these designs even if (I'm not sure if I am alone in this) this plays a significant part on the way we enjoy the book or even influence us to buy them in the first place. This exhibit highlights the fact that the book's design is as important as the contents itself -- which I quite agree on for I am a huge cover design judger since forever.  (sorry not sorry) 

Read more after the jump!

The exhibit started with this brief introduction by Karl Castro himself:

"Books preserve, and they destroy. They transport us, they locate us. Each book is an intervention, and a legacy. It is my great honor and pride to say that I help make them."
- Karl Castro

This is one creepy tapestry, you have to agree. But it is one of the more striking things in this exhibit.

One of the most enduring (and most popular, I guess) collaborator for Karl Castro is Ricky Lee, notable screenwriter, journalist, and playwright -- who, at the same time, wrote my favorite locally published book, Para Kay B. Lee's Para Kay B played a big role for, I think, a huge chunk of my college life so seeing it here really meant something for me. 

It was said that designing Para Kay B was the one of the most pressuring projects for Castro as it is Lee's first literary piece in 20 years. And he did a great job on it, I gotta say. The relationship of Lee and Castro was evident in this exhibit as there was a corner solely dedicated to their collaborations.

Above: Para Kay B cover & title evolution. 

It was amazing to have a little peak into the creative process of determining and finalizing the book title and jacket cover. 

Of course, an obligatory headshot for this wall.

In the background: Ricky Lee's "Para Kay B" and "Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata" book cover drafts.

Also: Book of endings. An exclusive peek at the evolution of Ricky Lee's Para Kay B ending (above).

Rejected mock ups.

A series of stunning photographs published reflecting the Philippine culture. (Didn't catch the name of the book)

This amazing series of artwork was actually made of coffee and salt. Amazeballs!

One popular collaboration Castro had was for the film That Thing Called Tadhana, directed by Antoinette Jadaone. Yep, that iconic (and I have to say, viral) tadhana pose was genius, right?

An exhibit dedicated to the popular Tadhana was on display. 
Above: A page on Mace and Anthony's dialogue. Air plane scene. >.<

Left a few good words for this exhibit. It was a nice one, I gotta say.

Posing with the Tadhana exhibit. :)


This was so much fun, I guess I need to start seeing more of these in the future. :)

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