When did you last receive a postcard?
Of all written ways of communication, writing a postcard is different. A postcard groups together the space of a letter pad and the information to be written on an envelope in a single sheet of card paper. Some postcards have pictures on one side and the other side is used for writing. Compared with letters, the message we can write on a postcard is much shorter. As we do not put a postcard in an envelope, what was written on it can be read by everyone. Maybe this is the reason why postcards are often used just to send general greetings or give your family a quick note that you have safely arrived at the destination of your trip. Letter writing, including writing postcards, have become less popular with the development of electronic communication technology. While the function of postcards, which were born more than a century ago, seems to diminish with time, Carol Lee has decided to give them a special place in her recent art making.
Lee’s postcards combine both her art and writing. She goes through all the steps by herself, from cutting the paper to mailing the stamped postcards. On one side of her postcards are images produced with the same technique as “time drawing”, her last series of works. The other side has the same structure as traditional postcards—space for writing the message and address. From the images and text on the postcards, we can see that the size of a postcard and its lack of privacy are not considered restrictions by Lee. In the small world framed by a postcard, she put things she saw in her life and travels, which might be a flower at home or a relief on an old relic. And that is a world we can hold in our hand. She also wrote to the recipients of her postcards about everything, from what she thought about a global incident to how she missed an old friend. On the postcards created and written by Lee, light and time are the sources of the visible images. They are also the elements of the invisible memories preserved forever in the words and lines. These light and time have been sent to many people and the postcards are their vehicles.
This book is a selection of the postcards created and sent out by Lee in around five years starting from 2008. We can look at the images of the postcards and read extracts of what she wrote at the back. In addition to the article by Caroline Ha Thuc, there are six short pieces by Lee, which are writings extended from six of her postcards. Responses from many recipients, in photographic or written forms, are also included. Lee has always emphasised that she would like to explore the quality of interpersonal communication through the Postcard Project. She has definitely found the purest motive for communication and its essence in the days and effort she devoted to the image production and writing. After reading her postcards, which travel through the river of time, maybe we should try putting away the keyboard and web shortcuts for a while. We may take a pen and write the person we think of a note, a short letter, or a postcard, in the light and warmth of the afternoon sun.
這本書是李美娟由二零零八年開始大約五年間所創作和寄出明信片的選輯，我們既可看到明信片的圖像，也可讀到所寫內容的摘錄。除了Caroline Ha Thuc的文章外，書內也收錄了李美娟六篇短文，是她由其中六張明信片出發的延伸書寫，另外還有收到明信片的人給她的照片和文字回覆。李美娟一直強調明信片計劃要探討的是人與人之間溝通的質量，她自己在付給圖像創作和文字書寫的時間和堅持中，找到溝通最初始的動機和本質。或許，讀過她這些串連起如水時光的明信片，我們也可以嘗試離開鍵盤和速寫符號，預留午後某段時間，提筆給想起的人寫一個便條、一封短信，或是一張明信片。
Light Years in Letters – A Postcard Project
Carol Lee Mei-kuen 李美娟
Published by 出版：
Asia One Product & Publishing Ltd. 宏亞出版有限公司
Teresa Chan 陳慧思
Teresa Chan 陳慧思
Alex Heung 香建峰
Connie Lo 盧可兒
First Edition November 2015