Avant-garde Kunqu Opera


award of  “Most Beautiful Book” 2021
        2021 the ADC International Design Bronze Cube Award
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Let the World See Chinese Kunqu Opera!
✨ When it comes to Kunqu Opera, one must inevitably mention the renowned Kunqu opera performer Ke Jun. He has combined traditional Kunqu Opera with contemporary art to create “Avant-garde Kunqu Opera.”
🎭 According to Ke Jun, the core competitiveness of artistic creation lies in the artist’s concept. Contemporary Kunqu Opera also requires concepts, such as how to make “intangible cultural heritage” Kunqu Opera engages in dialogue with the contemporary world, and how to use contemporary theater and technology to promote the Kunqu Opera to interact with this era. This is something he has been practicing as a Kunqu Opera artist.
“The Essence of Kunqu” is the footprint 👣 that Ke Jun left on the path of exploring Avant-garde Kunqu, carrying his thoughts on Kunqu Opera.
📖 The book is preface by Mr. Rong Nianzeng, known as the father of creative culture in Hong Kong, and includes the texts, photos, and conversations of seven experimental plays by Ke Jun over the past two decades: “Resonance” (2003), “Faust” (2004), “Concealment • Dash” (2006), “New Record of Ghost Records” (2009), experimental version of “Night Dash” (2010), “319. Looking Back at the Forbidden City” (2010), and “Handan Dream” (2016).
🟤 The book is meticulously designed by book designers Qu Minmin and Jiang Qian, with an elegant color scheme that reflects the subtlety of Kunqu Opera, just as Ke Jun dares to go on stage with a natural appearance. The spine of the book bears the title written by contemporary calligrapher Xu Jing, setting a warm tone for the entire book.
📄 The slipcase is embossed with lines, revealing the gaps with the underlying paper color, attempting to suggest the core of the book: to explore the essence and connections of culture through the surface appearance. Different types and colors of paper are used in the book’s pages, as if leading readers to shuttle between the scenes, behind the scenes, and immerse themselves in the layers of storytelling in Kunqu Opera, listening to the lingering echoes.
📚 “Avant-garde Kunqu Opera”
Authors: Ke Jun, Zhang Zhiwei
Design: Qu Minmin, Jiang Qian
Published by: Jiangsu Phoenix Fine Arts Publishing House
Printed by: Artron Art Printing