Abandonment, Revival


One day I was actively involved in an interchange with artists who run galleries and I discovered a big bunch of paper around me – from countless paper boxes to same-sized paper pieces left from making posters. I started to feel that it was a waste to throw away usable papers. However, I didn’t know how to use them and it eventually became a paper tower. They could neither be chucked away nor be reused. One day, I thought about ‘abandonment.’ I first decided to abandon the thought that I should’ve saved them because it was a waste to throw them away. Then, I came up with many ideas about how to use those leftover papers. An idea came to mind:instead of being thrown away, they could also be transformed, giving them a new life.

The easiest and most reasonable use for the paper was to bind them again as a book. After a little research I did on how to bind paper to make notes and books, I found out that it was not that difficult. I learned the most basic steps of ‘book art’ and started to apply the technique in various ways; surely, to do it in the most economical way; I only required thread, needles and glue.

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Cover: Disposed commercial box, insert: paper pieces that were about to be abandoned, binding with a string

If you cut cardboard commercial boxes, you unexpectedly make some fun patterns. Besides, a ‘recycled’ sign remains an important message of this notepad because it was made of recycled material.

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Cover: commercial box, insert: left over pieces from posters, binding with a waxed string

Of course, I am also aware of an efficient recycling system for these papers. However, wouldn’t it be better if the reconstruction process was more ‘creative’ and ‘fun?’

When it was in the form of a commercial box, the letters on the box were only for delivering information. However, after it has been re-formed and newly created, they are showing off their new design. I started to see everything in the world from a new perspective. I came up with realizations that nothing in the world is ‘useless’; and that creation is to make something in a shape by finding its beauty no one has discovered.

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 Cover: commercial box, insert: paper pieces from parcel package, remnants and strings

Like the fun-looking notepad, I even started to find out how to make use of little pieces of paper. Recycling, i.e. reconstruction became ‘fun’ to me so I could easily come up with ideas. I started to give the items I made to those who want them. Everyone was surprised when I told them what it was made out of. Something that ‘has been reborn’is useful in the world; the joy from that material started to come back to me.

Eventually, those who received them started to give me papers they don’t use. I could deeply understand what it actually means by ‘recycling.’Just as nature ‘circulates,’ everything in the world ‘just exists.’Even though something is thrown away, it doesn’t mean that it has disappeared. It was my self-centered conception that something is fixed to a certain form or function.

Below is a drawing book for travelers – it was made from the paper pieces someone gave me.

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Ingredients: paper pieces (I got for present), leather string

I would like to emphasize that I am not the kind of person who has craftsmanship skills or works in this field. As you already saw the recycled notepads I’ve made, they are in a simple form which doesn’t require any complicated skills. Nevertheless, people liked them and found it fun probably because things that we often see and even things that had been abandoned have now been transformed to ‘something usable’.

The empty space ‘left after’ abandonment is ‘filling’. I would like to remind you of the lesson learned that the action of abandonment involves room for reconstruction. Moreover, I hope everyone could feel the joy from truly enjoying ‘creative activity,’ the only ability that the ‘creator’, God, has given to mankind. Today, let us find things that could be used again by abandoning our thoughts of their uselessness. You’ll start to see the other side of the world.