Urgent Museum Notice

Bon Bon Mots

Close up of Bon Bon Mots

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

Julie Chen, Bon Bon Mots, 1998; Letterpress on paper, polymer clay, and Plexiglas, 2 x 13 5/8 x 10 in. (closed); National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum purchase: Library and Research Center Acquisition Fund; © Julie Chen

Bon Bon Mots
Julie Chen

“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, would be the perfect way to present contents that might not be so pleasant after all.”

“Among the ‘sweets’ in the confection box are a phrasebook of social graces and a calendar recording each day’s guilt and worries. The texts mix sadness and sweetness in equal proportions.”

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Julie Chen
  • Title

    Bon Bon Mots
  • Date

  • Medium

    Clay, Fimo, Letterpress on paper, Plexiglass, Polymer
  • Dimensions

    7 x 10 x 2 in.
  • Donor Credit

    NMWA Library and Research Center Book Acquisition Fund
  • Photo Credit

    © Julie Chen
  • On Display