姜映华 – Ying Hua (Jan) Jiang
Owner and bookbinder of Wrycan Book Art Studio
It was in New Zealand that I was first introduced to this ancient art. I fell in love with bookbinding and have never stopped loving it.
Originally from China, I did a Fine Arts degree at the Academy of Traditional Chinese Opera in Beijing, studying stage and costume design and Fine Arts. When I graduated, I worked for Beijing Television as a designer.
But I wanted to travel and I came to New Zealand. While I was studying graphic design in Christchurch, I was introduced to Don Hampshire, an English-trained bookbinder and tutor. My path was set! I learned from Don for 9 years, until he died in 2009. I feel a great gratitude to him – he was a wonderful mentor to me.
I formed Wrycan Book Art Studio in 2004 and before the Canterbury earthquakes was first in Brick Lane, then in the Christchurch Arts Centre. I later moved to The Tannery in Woolston, but now I have a specially built studio at my home in Ilam.
From there, as well as my own work and work for clients, I offer classes for people who want to learn the basics of bookbinding.