Anaïs López

The Migrant

The Migrant is a cruel fairytale about a once beloved but now reviled Asiatic songbird of the starling family. It is also an allegory of migration. Artist Anaïs López and graphic designer Teun van der Heijden collaborated with Singaporean strip artist Sonny Liew to tell the bird’s story, principally in gold, yellow, curry colours and black. The book is part of a multimedia art project including a web-and-radio documentary, live performance, an exhibition, photography and, obviously, this book. A simple loose insert gives contextual information about the bird. In a miscellany of documentary photography, strip cartoons, fiction and newspaper cuttings, this is the story of the Javanese Mynah, once introduced to Europe and Singapore on account of its extraordinary qualities as a songbird, but in the course of the twentieth century going feral and, in the explosive growth of cities in Singapore, being vomited out as an outcast whose singing talents have decayed into the hated raucous grating squawk that enables it to be heard above the din of the city. Shot at and driven away, the bird flees to Myanmar, where Buddhist monks capture it, to be set free again as a messenger for the gods. This hopeful end is depicted on yellow pages. The book ends with a pop-up of three mynahs flying up. Van der Heijden’s design raises the book to a higher plane without affecting its character as an artist book.

Edition: 2018
Release date: September 2018
Language: English
Illustrator: Sonny Liew
Photographer: Anaïs López
Publisher / commissioner: Anaïs López, Amsterdam
Available through: Webshop
Designer: Teun van der Heijden (Amsterdam)
Lithographer: Fotolab and robstolk®, Amsterdam
Printer: robstolk®, Amsterdam
Binder: Van Waarden (inlay: APG Afterpress & Printing Groep, Diemen), Zaandam
Dimensions: 240 x 318 x 13
Amount of pages: 120 + 16 (inlay)
Number of copies: 450
Retail price in euros: € 95
ISBN: 978 90 82076 12 7
Font and foundry: Antique Olive Roman (Linotype)
Binding style: A laser-cut pop-up at the last endpaper (designed by Moon Brouwer and made by ID Laser)
Paper interior: 140gsm Freelife Mérida Forest, 150gsm Fluweel 1.5 (inlay: 90gsm Fluweel 1.5), Fedrigoni, Igepa
Paper end papers: 140gsm Mérida Forest, Fedrigoni
Cover material: Dubletta 3257, over to 2,5 mm greyboard, Van Heek Textiles
Other technical features: Velvet paper paper printed in offset, skeleton black and Pantone 113 and 877 (silver), screen-printing in Pantone 871 (gold) on Freelife [niet Freelifde] paper by Silk Screen Holland; inlay printed in Pantone 560. A laser-cut pop-up at the last endpaper (designed by Moon Brouwer and made by ID Laser).
Awards: Bronzen medal Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt, Leipzig 2019