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Book Arts Collection

A guide to discovering artists' books in the Book Arts Collection at Hill Memorial Library.

About Flying Fish Press

Flying Fish Press was established in 1987 in California by Julie Chen. Some of her projects are collaborations with artists including Lois Morrison, Barbara Tetenbaum and Clifton Meador, and she often employs a small team of assistants with the production of her projects.

While the accordion structure is the foundation for many of the Chen's creations, Chen continues to expand on how that structure can function within her works, often inventing new ways to build books. Soft pastels, precise letterpress printing, complex mechanical structures, and thoughtful enclosures are all hallmarks of Flying Fish Press.

Artist's website:

Selected Works by Flying Fish Press


Chen, Julie. Wayfinding. Berkeley, California: Flying Fish Press, 2019.
N7433.4 .C436 W39 2019 FLAT, Rare

"Wayfinding examines the relationship between physical and mental learning through the context of navigation through time and space. The piece focuses the reader's experience on the physicality of the book as object through the inclusion of 3-dimensional cast paper sheets and pages of handmade paper that rattle when turned. A 3-dimensional alphabet abstracted from diagrams of flag semaphore addresses the activities of signaling and translation, and how information is taken in by all the senses and not just through the eyes." --Artist statement.

See this book in action:

Ode to a Grand Staircase (for four hands)

Chen, Julie and Barbara Tetenbaum. Ode to a Grand Staircase (for four hands). Berkeley, Calif.: Flying Fish Press, 2001.
N7433.4 .C436 O34 2001, Rare

Letterpress printed cut card panels attached to concertinas on both sides creating two spines. Pages are cut in layers to resemble a staircase and open from the center in the fashion of French doors. Inspired by the music of Erik Satie.


Chen, Julie. Panorama. Berkeley, Calif.: Flying Fish Press, 2008.
N7433.4 .C436 P36 2008 FLAT, McIlhenny Natural History Collection

"Panorama explores the issue of climate change from an artist’s perspective, simultaneously expressing hope and helplessness in the face of this growing crisis. Opening to a full width of 5 feet, Panorama engulfs the reader/viewer in an experience both moving and surprising with large format pop-ups and interactive folded sections that interlace personal thought with aspects of a more universal reality." --Artist's website

True to Life

Chen, Julie. True to Life. Berkeley: Flying Fish Press, 2004.
N7433.4 .C436 T78 2004 FLAT, Rare

A visual timeline in a mechanical artists' book created with letterpress by pressure printing, wood block, and photopolymer plate.

Book of Hours

Chen, Julie. Book of Hours.

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