Artists' Books


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artists' books; chocolate; goddesses; autobiographical memory in art


1 volume. "Bitter Chocolate was written and designed by Julie Chen. Illustrations of the cacao forest and cacao pods were created by Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder. All other images were created by Julie Chen. All elements were letterpress printed from photopolymer plates on a variety of papers including Old Masters handmade paper from Papeterie Saint-Armand in Montréal, Zanders Elephant Hide and Hahnemühle Ingres"--Colophon. Commissioned for inclusion in "Just one look," an exhibition of contemporary book arts held in the Special Collections Division of the University of Washington Libraries from March 31-July 29, 2016. Limited edition of 50 copies, signed and numbered. Narrative about a fictional goddess of chocolate, "Cacao Woman," a character loosely adapted from the Popul Vuh, the Mayan Book of Council. It is interspersed with historical and contemporary facts about chocolate production and consumption, as well as vignettes from the author's personal history with chocolate. Book is bound in Jacob's Ladder format and enclosed in a cloth-covered, four-flap case with magnetic closures. Title label on top of case. Title, colophon, and "forward" printed letterpress on three sheets mounted inside case. "The Jacob's ladder structure allows for four distinct presentations of content. The book is first unfolded into accordion format, presenting the reader with visual and written content on each side. Then the page panels can be flipped over within the hinge straps that connect them revealing the second half of the content. The full meaning and impact of the story is only revealed when all four parts of the content are discovered and read"--Artist's website, viewed November 30, 2016.

RISD Fleet Library Catalog Record


[Berkeley, California] : Flying Fish Press, 2016.


©Chen, Julie, Berkeley, CA: Flying Fish Press, 2016

Materials / Techniques

folded books; paper


38 x 9 cm

Bitter Chocolate



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