After completing a degree in printmaking at the University of California, Berkeley, Julie Chen became intrigued by the language, equipment, and materials of Book Arts and entered the Book Arts program at Mills College.
Book Arts encompass binding, letterpress, printing and printmaking, combined with three-dimensional art. The finished products are unique three-dimensional pieces of art that include text.
Chen’s books are considered exceptional for their craft and quality, while playfully teasing the conceptual limits of books. Always mindful of the reader who will interact with her structures, she selects paper to delight the eye and appeal to the touch, while creating forms that function as vessels for text, images, ideas and meaning. Despite the nontraditional forms it often occupies, the text in Chen’s creations is letterpress printed.
In addition to teaching Book Arts at Mills College and operating Flying Fish Press, Chen regularly lectures on bookmaking and teaches workshops nationwide.