Jc Chen / 陳正菁 (Founder of Illumination Books / 浮光書店, Taipei)

Jc Chen / 陳正菁 (Founder of Illumination Books / 浮光書店, Taipei)

Jc Chen / 陳正菁, founder of Illumination Books / 浮光書店 answers some questions from 後現代 | POSTGENDAI. Illumination Books was founded in 2017 and celebrated its second anniversary in this June. The books are all carefully selected by the owner, Jc Chen, who truly has the spirit of POSTGENDAI. Since its beginning, the bookstore attracts students, writers and artists not only from Taiwan but also from overseas.

Photo by 後現代  | POSTGENDAI

Jc Chen / 陳正菁 (Founder of Illumination Books / 浮光書店, Taipei)


Q1. What did you often think about when you were about 15 years old?

I used to think about the meaning of love, life and death, and why we necessarily need to go to school.

Q2. What was the most impressive thing or moment of your life in U.S?

I was impressed that graduate classes of Art department were quite creative and insightful. All sources and media could be used in Art. Iowa city was filled with free spirit and lively cultural atmosphere for studying art.

Q3. When did you think of yourself as a Taiwanese during your life in U.S?

All the time I thought of myself as a 台灣人/Taiwanese in US, especially when we met Chinese students and recognized the huge differences between us. 

Photo by Illumination Books / 浮光書店

Q4. What is the most unforgettable thing you have ever seen or found? (Artwork, Film, Novel, Music etc., anything)

Once I saw Merce Cunningham dance company performed in New York, with the music composed by John Cage, that’s a significant moment I was moved by contemporary art. And I visited Judson Church during my short stay in New York, a historical site during 1960s, where provided lots of performances by artists represented with avant-garde art concept of 民主/democracy, 平等/equality, and 自由/freedom.

Q5. What does come to your mind when you hear the word "postmodern"?

Anti-modern, de-constructive, pieces and ashes of reality, fun and irony.

Photo by Illumination Books / 浮光書店

Q6. Who is your favorite philosophers, and what is your favorite books written by them?

Roland Barthes’s Mythologies is one of my favorites. All books by Zygmunt Bauman I love a lot. Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han is the one I recently found very interesting to read about.

Q7. Why did you open your bookstore at this location? What is the origin of the name of “Illumination Books / 浮光書店”?

赤峰街/Chifeng St. is quite a popular neighborhood for hipsters, artists and writers. Many cafes and boutiques opened here. It’s especially good at taking a walk here, sight-seeing historical buildings, and meeting lots of traditional business around. This area is typical on industry and history mixed, half old and half new. The name of “illumination” in a way represents the glamour and light of Taipei City, the free spirit and enlightenment of knowledge.

Q8. Can you give us suggestion of contemporary Taiwanese writers or Thinkers?

Wu Ming-Yi/吳明益 is one of the best Taiwanese writers. “The Magician on the Skywalk”/ 《天橋上的魔術師》 is on my list of must-read. 

Photo by Illumination Books / 浮光書店

Card of created by Illumination Books / 浮光書店


Illumination Books / 浮光書店
No. 16, Lane 47, Chifeng Street, Datong District, Taipei City, TAIWAN
Hours: Mon. - Sun. 12:00 to 22:00

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