By the book

READING FOR PLEASURE Nothing beats settling down on the couch on a free evening with a book filled with pictures (and a smattering of words). I share some of my favourite art books of the moment:

1. Diagrams: Innovative Solutions for Graphic Designers by Carolyn Knight & Jessica Glaser (Rotovision)

This book was my bible when I was working on my final year project at Temasek Design School four years ago - I worked on a series of infographics on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transport system. Prior to this, my knowledge of infographics were limited to signs in shopping malls or airports, but this expanded what I thought about information and the many different ways it can be presented. Some are really meticulous and detailed and fit a lot of information, as opposed to shopping mall signs where people are meant to understand it in a split second - sometimes you just need the toilet now.

2. The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox by Michael Specter (Rizzoli)


Fantastic Mr. Fox was the first film by Wes Anderson that I saw and I basically labelled it my favourite movie ever (excluding the Harry Potter series...let's be real) about three seconds in. And being a (self-proclaimed) creative person, I'm always wondering how creative people do the things they do so I'm a sucker for 'behind-the-scenes' and 'the-making-of' stuff, so this book was obviously going to be in my collection the moment I knew of its existence. I do wish it came with a CD showing how the puppeteers actually worked.

3. Dior Impressions, edited by Florence M├╝ller (Rizzoli)

"After woman, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world." - Christian Dior, The Little Dictionary of Fashion, 1954

Short art history bit here: Dior drew much of his inspiration from the Impressionists, who in turn were very much inspired by nature and obsessed with capturing light and movement in their paintings. As someone who enjoys going to museums to stare at huge paintings - the bigger the better - from the Renaissance period and also by Impressionists like Boudin and Monet, this book was a perfect manifesto of art and fashion coming together. Dior's clothes are literally a work of art and it was really interesting to read about the background and history of the House of Dior. This is not fluffy fashion-trend stuff, promise.

4. James Jean: Rebus (Chronicle Books)

James Jean has constantly been on my radar ever since I chanced upon his work online seven years ago (!!) on an extremely slow-moving day during my internship at a publishing house. He's just exceptionally gifted and original and I really can't find another soul out on the same level as him. This book nicely lays out his progress and transition as an artist. Plus the edges of the book are glided a shiny red and it sparkles like a ruby. I'm hypnotized.

5. The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz (Abrams)

I don't know if it's sad that my creative bubble is sadly limited to one indie filmmaker, but I really like how Anderson has such a singular vision. Being able to absorb everything around you and filter it into your own distinct aesthetic is really something to be proud of. So yes, another Wes Anderson publication does deserve another spot of this measly list of books are expensive. - Alyssa Woo