If you have any photo books with glued bindings lying around the house, you’ll probably understand how annoying the crease in the middle can be. If a photo is printed across both pages, you inevitably lose part of the image as it curves down in the middle, taking some of your sanity with it.
But where other photographers are opting for sewn bindings (the kind that lay flat) more and more, photographer I-Hsuen Chen went the other direction. His project In Between takes advantage of the dreaded crease by hiding the most important parts of photos in there on purpose.
If you’re a perfectionist, the project will likely drive you a bit nuts, because none of the photos printed on the book’s 230 pages are properly visible. Compiled using intimate photos Chen took during a two-year stay in the US, you won’t find a single complete face or facial expression.
Referencing the concepts developed in the book Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes, Chen writes that he has placed every image’s “studium” in the crease so that the reader is “only able to peek at the abstract figures or ambiguous narrative elements instead of particular people or things.”
Here are a few examples from the book:
Speaking with American Photo Magazine, Chen explained that the book actually started out as a joke. What turned out in the end, however, was more meaningful … at least for Chen.
“[I] as the author, as a result of not being able to see, was able to keep the true memories in literally the middle of the book,” writes Chen. “The deepest spot in my memory.”
To find out more or maybe purchase a $30 copy of In Between for yourself, head over to Chen’s website by clicking here.
(via American Photo Magazine)
Image credits: Photographs by I-Hsuen Chen