Letterpress & Binding Studio

The Tale of Three Black Boxes

A book & suite of multi-media prints
Shinsuke Minegishi (HM Editions 2006)

Minegishi’s most personal book work to date, merging and juxtaposing his interests in fine art printmaking and hand-crafted books.

The core of the project consists of six wood engravings (each about 3 inches square) that tell a sequential narrative about the adventures of a family of three black boxes. This story is told, with spare text, in a single signature book with the text will be set in 12-point Gill Sans and printed on the HM handpress. The engravings were printed by the artist on gampi from the studio of Shiho Nao in Japan, and then archivally mounted on the Arches text sheets. The sheets are sewn as a single signature into a black wrap with the image of three boxes embossed on the front cover, and debossed on the rear.

A companion case holds a suite of six prints that delve more deeply into the specific imagery of each engraving. The multi-layer prints are color woodcuts that incorporate an engraving, through windows and openings cut into the printed sheet. The textures and colors created with the woodcuts are achieved through multiple inkings and overprinting. The six prints – along with a title sheet, brief commentary by the artist, and colophon (all set in Gill Sans & printed at HM) – are held loose in a black portfolio case. The portfolio & the set’s matching slipcase are made by the artist.

The Tale of Three Black Boxes was Minegishi's most ambitious publishing project to date, hence the small edition of just 25 sets, with five reserved for distribution exclusively in Japan. The book and portfolio (both measuring 8.5 x 7 inches) in each set feature descriptive colophons, numbered and signed by Minegishi (English in the book, Japanese in the portfolio).

The Tale of Three Black Boxes

The Tale of Three Black Boxes