What is the purpose of books? Not the same in every culture. A display of thirteen centuries of illustrated books in Japan shows books dedicated to catching the essence of a moment - a second - or even a nanosecond. One scroll illustrates a single day's journey. An all-night party by Hokusai produced 364 sketches. The books themselves were perceived as ephemera.
"When the evanescent is carefully contemplated, something timeless is revealed," says Edward Rothstein (New York Times). The exhibition is in the New York Public Library until 4 February 2007.
Ehon: The Artist and the book in Japan
Were these beautiful, strange, startling books the equivalent of a newspaper? Is online journalism the ultimate in ephemera, or a museum of fossils?