本の本の本 2016 – 2020 (Homage to Sol LeWitt)
By Antoine Lefebvre
Stemming from a passion for Japanese calligraphy and graphic design, this photographic series began during Lebvre's residency at the Palais des paris in Japan in 2016.
The kanji 本, pronounced \hon\, means book when it is alone, but it can mean numerous other things when associated with other ideograms. It is for example the second ideogram in 日本, Japan in Japanese. During the residency, Lefebvre would scan his surroundings on every excursion, looking for the kanji 本; usually it could be found outside of bookshops on big colorful signs.
Lefebvre promptly became obsessed by these signs, which became important markers as he sought out bookshops. He began taking pictures every time he found the kanji 本 employed, always in the same fashion, in a very frontal close framing, the sign being out of focus when it was too small to get a clear shot.
Returning to Paris, he produced a small brochure with the photographs in a format inspired by Sol LeWitt's Photogrids and founded a bookshop named 本 \hon\ books.
Yet the project remained incomplete. Lefebvre returned to Japan in 2019, and continued making images documenting the use of the kanji 本.
This book thus brings together documentation across four years and two trips, with the first hundred images coming from Japan in 2016, followed by images of the kanji's use in other countries as well as Lefebvre's own activities. The last section of the book presents pictures taken in 2019 and 2020 in Japan and Paris.
Published by Antoine Lefebvre, 2021
Printed in a limited edition of 500 copies
Softcover, 48 pages, full color offset, 10.5 × 10.25 inches