Cost of Freedom is a book about the relationship between artistic and political freedom.
The work is republication of a little-known Japanese illustrated novella from 1861 by Kanagaki Robun, one of the creators of the first manga magazine. Robun's book is a fantastical retelling of the myths of the American founding fathers, heightened with the addition of fictional characters and monsters. George Washington punches a tiger. John Adams slays a snake with a samurai sword. Characters wear Japanese dress, and travel in steamships. Gaps in the creator's understanding of the book's nominal subject are filled in with familiar and entertaining aspects of the host culture.
Cost of Freedom recreates Robun's book as an oversize black and white coloring book, with the hiragana script digitally removed. Each copy of the edition is uniquely hand-colored with markers.
2019. 12.5 x 17.5". 82 pages. Printed on kozo paper, with lokta paper cover. 7-hole stab binding with black linen thread. Edition of 5.