In 2015, Judy Choi discovered in a journal the poems of her 15-year old niece, Phoenix. When she first read her poems, she couldn't believe that someone of her age could write in such an eloquent and sophisticated manner. Phoenix's poems were so beautiful, yet, poignant and tragic at the same time. She was writing poetry as a way to cope with her parents' drug addiction.
Often sad and dark, her poems provide an introspection into the adolescent mindset, expressing the loneliness and emptiness she was feeling due to the absence of her parents from her life.
Actual book cover
Ms. Choi also envisioned this book to have a strong visual identity and, to that effect, incorporate photographic imagery associated with great design. She found the perfect partners to achieve that vision, Francis George and Mami Awamura, who have tremendous experience and have worked together on magazines and books in the past. They volunteered their expertise, time and efforts to help bring that project to life.
To give the book a special identity and character (since Phoenix and Judy are of Chinese origin), they decided to explore traditional Asian string book binding.
"The Cloud that Fell from the Sky" is a first edition photographic art book that uses imagery, taken by Francis George, to interpret poetry written by Judy Choi and Phoenix Brown.
This book is a true work of art. To our knowledge, it is the first hard cover, fully illustrated book using high quality paper produced with this type of artisanal binding. It will become a collector's item for the discerning bibliophile and is the first volume of a three-part series.
The photographic works featured in the book were produced over a period of three months and is completely original to this book. The choice of mostly abstract imagery has been deliberate and is aimed at the viewers ability to see what their own imagination allows them to see.
The images have not been manipulated aside from color adjustments in order to be representative of the writing's rawness and the purity of the process.
Designed by Mami Awamura, "The Cloud that Fell from the Sky" is a beautiful, artistic collaboration that showcases how writing and photographs can capture the rawness of the human experience.