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Book of the Week: A Pick by Fred Cray

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Fred Cray Fred Cray selects Until Deal Do Us Part by Thomas Sauvin as Book of the Week.
Until Death Do Us Part. By Thomas Sauvin.
Jiazazhi Press, 2015.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Fred Cray who has selected Until Death Do Us Part by Thomas Sauvin from Jiazazhi Press.

"Meticulously designed, the perfectly titled Thomas Sauvin Until Death Do Us Part book is a small festive gem that fits into the pocket just as the pack of cigarettes it replicates would. Continuing his work with often partially damaged or aged negatives salvaged from a recycling plant near Beijing, Sauvin delicately balances celebration (Chinese weddings and their rituals that include games created with cigarettes) with the now recognized dangers of smoking.

This book is a pleasure to hold; cunningly, it tactilely triggers memories of carrying around a pack of cigarettes. The pages with gilded edges echo the foil wrapper found in flip boxes of smokes. Of course the pack that holds the book smartly is wrapped in plastic just like a cigarette pack, and the packs of 10 books were seen in carton designed boxes at book fairs. The preponderance of that sumptuous Chinese red throughout the packaging and images is so cheerful and deceptive.

The book begins with the Chinese tradition of the bride lighting a cigarette for each male guest in attendance and moves to festive games created on the spot involving smoking, some with soda bottles converted to bong-like pipes with a multitude of cigarettes. Images are sometimes bizarre (a baby with a cigarette in its mouth) but always joyful. Towards the end of the book we are guided into a type of chaos involving party streamers where the confetti obscures the wedding couples in exuberance.

Until Death Do Us Part stands out on many levels and seems to bring happiness every time it is shared. It’s one of those books you don’t want to be too far from, just like that evil pack of smokes."—Fred Cray

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by:
Alejandro Cartagena
Daniel Boetker-Smith
John Phelan
Martin Parr
Rafal Milach
Sarah Bradley

Purchase Book

Until Death Do Us Part. By Thomas Sauvin. Jiazazhi Press, 2015.
Until Death Do Us Part. By Thomas Sauvin. Jiazazhi Press, 2015.

Fred Cray is a visual artist who has lived in Brooklyn, NY for many years. He is a Guggenheim Fellow represented by Janet Borden Inc. (NY). His ongoing unique photographs project has recently led to several books, and it has a current instagram component showing placement of the photographs:

View books by Fred Cray

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