Urgent Museum Notice

Julie Chen

A light-medium-skinned adult woman with medium-length black hair wears a blue floral blouse and glasses. She is in an art studio, behind a green cutting mat, looking down and holding open a flag-style book. Equipment is on the counter behind her.

Photo by Luz Marina Ruiz, © Julie Chen

Born in 1963

Chen’s artist’s books can be found in library and museum collections around the world, including the libraries of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Limited editions of her work range from 10 to 150 copies; they often function traditionally as books, as well as sculptural objects.

She says, “My approach to artists’ books combines personal narratives with book forms that present the reader with both intimate reading experience as well as beautiful objects that can be displayed as sculpture. The idea of giving order to personal experience through the use of mapping, charting, and numbering continues to be an important underlying theme that runs through much of my work. Enclosures such as boxes, along with the corresponding concept of creating a world within a world, also play a major role in the presentation of my book works.”

Chen presently teaches in the Book Arts Program at Mills College in Oakland, California. She also conducts intensive book arts workshops around the country during summers.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Julie Chen
  • Birth

    Inglewood, California, 1963
  • Phonetic Spelling

    JOO-lee chehn

Works by Julie Chen

Bon Bon Mots

“I got the idea for the format of Bon Bon Mots about two years before I actually made the book,” says Julie Chen. “In my mind’s eye, I could clearly see a collection of intimate, confectionlike book-objects. They would be so appealing that the reader could not resist holding each one in his or her hand and reading the contents. This, I thought,...

A green-gold box with its attached lid flipped open holds five objects shaped liked candies resting on burgundy fabric. The inside of the lid displays outlines of each object, with the words