CHEERS TO NORM(AN)
Our Type Reader for September is Norman Wong
It’s always a good day when Norman Wong stops by TYPE. He’s chipper, he’s charming, and he’s one of the city’s best photographers. He’s been working with record label Arts & Crafts for the last ten years, and recently had an exhibition to commemorate his decade with the A&E crew. He contributes to VICE, Flare, and Toronto Life, and does amazing work for OVO Records.
The people are the best - not often the nicest (aka Kyle), but I love it for that. It’s my neighbourhood bar, where everyone knows my name. I drown myself in the art books – thanks, Derek!
Has a design or art book ever had an impact on your life?
The 10 Influential Creators for Magazine Design by Yashushi Fujimoto. It helped shape my personal projects and the photography work I do with local magazines. I deeply admire magazine design, and designers who make them.
What art book do you return to more than any other?
Nigel Shafran’s Ruth on the Phone. It’s so entertaining and relatable. It’s just a series of photographs of his wife on the phone, taken over a decade.
Do you consume art books differently from novels?
I revisit art books frequently. It’s nice to dip in and out. With novels I can have trouble committing - but once I’m engaged, it’s on. I almost never revisit fiction.
What is your favourite photography book?
A Criminal Investigation by Watabe Yukichi, Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson, Land Line by Michael Schmelling.
What quality do you appreciate most in an art book?
Superficially, I really appreciate a well-printed and bound art book. I’m obsessed with the photo publishing house MACK from the UK.
Is there an artists whose works translates well to book? Who and why?
Wim Wenders. I’m a big fan of his films, but I’m a bigger fan of his photography. His photography actually reads best in book form. It’s a nice parallel to his films.