Visual Treats


Visual Treats

A Selection of Art Books.

by Ken Jenie



Perspektif (2014)
Vincent Wong
DGI Press
Initiating the idea from a simple question about the definition of graphic design, Vincent Wong made a substantial contribution to the development of the subject in Indonesia with this book. Rather than using text-book approach, Perspektif discusses graphic design in a more personal manner – by compiling the explanation from 19 young graphic designers from around the country. Each designer explain their idea of the subject with the knowledge from their professional experience, making the content even more relevant to its mission as an archiving project. As a graphic design book, it also came in an interesting presentation, every designer have their own indvidual booklet filled with their design portfolio.


22 Idols (2010)
By Winston Smith, Kosuke Kawamura
Erect Lab
Brought to life by the Japanese zine collective Erect Lab, 22 Idols is an art book that collides two collage artist from both eastern and western culture. Winston Smith, a collage artist that renowned for his collaboration with Alternative Tentacles records (including one of his most famous work, the Dead Kennedys cover album) representing the western, and Kosuke Kawamura, a collage artist that also works as the art director from Erect Magazine representing the east. The collaboration from these two artists results in interesting pieces that stack their political taste and perspective, creating unique juxtapositions between the image pieces.


The Art of Hideshi Hino (2007)
Hideshi Hino
Presspop Gallery
Hideshi Hino is a manga artist who specializes in the art of horror. His character drawings feel childlike, and its juxtaposition with the adult horror situations they face make the illustrations intensifies the dread. He is the author whose works inspired the controversial Guinea Pig gore-film series, so you can imagine what you can expect from his art. The Art of Hideshi Hino comes in two parts: the first being full-color paintings of things such as a monstrous fetus, a lizard in coitus with a woman, and yokais chewing on human bones. The second part of the book features manga shorts “Memories of the Mermaid,” “The Red Fruit,” and “Snow Flower.” The Art of Hideshi Hino is a good introduction to one of Japan’s legendary illustrator’s style, and will perhaps make you interested in finding more of his work.


Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting (2002)
Phaidon Editors
As one of the most regarded publishers of art and design, Phaidon’s Vitamin P book is a great reference for those who would like to know what is happening in the world of painting. As art always progresses and have new trends, Vitamin P compiles the works and profiles of a wide range of artists (over 110 painters are covered in each book), thanks to over 60 nominators from many of the world’s most prestigious art institutions. It is a reference book and a great introduction for those who are curious about contemporary painting. Also check out Phaidon’s other Vitamin series, which covers illustrations and sculptures.


Akira Club (2007)
Otomo Katsuhiro
Dark Horse Manga
Akira by Otomo Katsuhiro is one of the most renowned and influential manga series and animated features in the world. His visual depiction of the story and a post-apocalyptic Tokyo is rich with details, and engrossing for readers as well as viewers. It is no surprise that upon its film release Akira gained critical acclaims for its visual style, as well as a cult following. Akira Club compiles Akira imageries found from the manga, advertisements, as well as merchandise such as t-shirts and pinball machines. One will find concept art as well, but most interesting are perhaps the ‘Unpublished Works’ section, where many pages of the Akira manga were scrapped for one reason or another, and are explained with anecdotes from Otomo Katsuhiro. Akira is a visual treat, and this book compiles it into one comprehensive book.


600 Spots: A Pop Up Book for Children of All Ages (2007)
David A. Carter
Little Simon
David A. Carter has made great books for children and adults since the late 80s, and 600 Spots is certainly one of the highlights. The book features beautiful and complex geometric pop up art. It isn’t just beautiful to look at, though. Most of the art is interactive, with inserts you can pull, sleeves you can open, and different textures you can feel. The title, 600 Spots, refers to the number of spots readers can search and find through out the book. Do get a copy of 600 Spots as well as other David A. Carter books.


Stiker Kota (2008)
Ugeng T. M., Ardi Yunanto, Ade Darmawan, Mirwan Andan
The most interesting thing about this book is its sharp views in placing daily objects into a new perspective. Not only does the book compile a series of urban stickers found in Jakarta, it also interprets the stickers as the portrayal of the city’s social antiquity. Browsing through the pages of this book could titillate the reader’s mind with its blatant and absurd yet honest graphic and texts. With the function of the sticker as the medium for people to symbolize their attitude, the authors also invite us to see the book as a visual journey to the mind of the people in the city.


Raymond Pettibon (2001)
By Robert Storr, Dennic Cooper, Ulrich Loock
This book provides a complete look into 1980s California-based artist Raymond Pettibon. The artist is known for his work for Black Flag and Sonic Youth, as well as his simple graphic signature that usually combined with bits of text – often without direct relationships with the imagery, making them intriguing for viewers. The book includes interviews, essays, and material that influenced his art making process, allowing us to see a holistic personal narrative from the artist, a rare occurence for an artist that is usually preoccupied with other entity’s brand and value. The prolific collection from the artist’s work will let the readers get closer to his peculiar draftsmanship as well.whiteboardjournal, logo