我是在年初的時候，聽到同學分享他們在紐約書籍中心上過一門”Zhen Xian Bao”的課，還說起源於中國，可我竟然從來沒見過這麼有意思的東西，才開始找資料，然後自己試做了這兩本硬盒裝的書。其實這屬於民間的一種摺紙針線包，源自中國貴州侗族。由多個規格不同的紙夾組成，展開時有不同夾層，環環相扣。
It was at the beginning of the year, my classmates shared with me about a “Zhen Xian Bao” class they took at the Center for book arts in NY. They also mentioned that the craft originated in China, but oddly I have never seen such an interesting thing before. Then I started digging into the stories and history behind it, and made these two hard cover book-sized little gems.
In fact, this is a folk origami sewing kit, composed of multiple folded paper containers of various sizes, whose tradition traces back to the Dong (or Kam) people in Guizhou Province, China. There are different layers of fold pockets within “zhen xian bao.” Mine for example, the small collapsible boxes are on top of the middle ones, which then open to the large pockets, thus making its intricate interlocking mechanism.
The paper containers are in 3 distinct sizes. As illustrated in the diagram, there are 8 smallest square ones in the A layer (top layer), 4 medium rectangular ones in the B layer (middle), and 2 in the largest C layer (bottom).
Despite the conveniently portable size, the little book provides surprisingly lot of utilitarian storage space.