|Title||The Medium is the Baggage|
|Artist / Creator||Shu-Ju Wang|
|Press Name||Relay Replay Press|
|Place of Publication||Portland, Oregon|
|Process / Technique||Laser printing|
|Structure / Binding||Clamshell box construction containing material/medium samples|
|Medium / Materials||Amazon shipping box, US Postal Service shipping box, Scotch packaging tape, Mylar sleeve, self-adhesive shipping labels, all the packaging mediums listed in the sampler label (various plastic or paper products), and shredded shopping catalogs|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||Outer box size: 8.5 x 5.75 x 11 inches. Book closed: 7.25 x 6 x 12.5 inches.|
|Edition Size||Edition of 10|
|Signed & Numbered||Yes|
This piece examines the reality of product vs. the medium it is packed in by inverting the relationship between the two. The products we purchase often have limited lifespans —they break down, wear out or we simply move on to the next new thing; they are, in effect, disposable. In mail or online ordering, we have found something that will last generations. With the exception of biodegradable starch foam and paper packing, most packing materials are various forms of plastic that do not biodegrade and recycling is limited. When recycling is available, the materials are recycled into other forms of plastic. In short, these packing materials are the heirlooms that we leave for future generations. By presenting 20 packing materials in a clamshell box packed in shredded mail-order catalogues, The Medium is the Baggage puts product and packing in their rightful places within this historical context.
Artist BioBorn and raised in Taiwan, and trained as an engineer, Shu-Ju Wang settled in Oregon after stays in Saudi Arabia, California, and New Jersey. In 2000, she left engineering to become a full time artist. With an immigrant’s eye, Shu-Ju paints a portrait of her sometimes wonderful, sometimes unsettling, first generation American life. Shu-Ju tells us, "With a few exceptions, my editioned artist's books are created with the Print Gocco and can be found at rare book collections and university libary collections throughout North America; they have also been featured in numerous publications. My work tends to be personal and intimate, and like everyone else's lives, that means things range from introspective to wacky to political indignation. And where I go, my books go."