Notes on Happiness

Notes on Happiness 
Alex Farrar 

Book Presentation⎢Thurs. Feb. 22 18 - 21 hr / Florastr.61, 13187 Berlin 


Notes on Happiness reflects on a year of conversations that Alex Farrar shared with his friends, family and acquaintances about happiness. Prompted by an invitation to respond to the subject whilst artist-in-residence at SEA Foundation, Tilburg; work on the project quickly became entwined with the life of the artist as he and his partner prepared for the birth of their daughter. Against this personal backdrop, Notes on Happiness tracks an understanding of happiness shifting in response to the multitude of ideas, attitudes and experiences of 21 contributors and the ‘Pope of Happiness’, researcher Ruut Veenhoven.

Written by Alex Farrar, edited by David Price, designed by studioHendriksen, with a series of drawings made by artist and filmmaker Daniel Jacoby that come together in a two colour print used to bind the book in ten different covers. Printed by Zwaan Lenoir, The Netherlands. Binding by AGIA, The Netherlands. Cover and interior paper is Arena natural rough, Fedrigoni. Notes on Happiness is published by Jap Sam Books, with financial support from Jaap Harten Fonds, Hinderrust Fonds, Stichting Stokroos, and paper sponsorship by Fedrigoni Benelux.

Alex Farrar

Alex Farrar (born 1986) is an artist based in Amsterdam, originally from West Yorkshire in the North of England. He studied at Leeds College of Art (graduating 2006), Leeds Metropolitan University (2009), Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (2010), before completing a research fellowship at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam in 2016.

His work explores the artistic use of the exhibition as a shared space between imagination and reality. Through considered groupings of individual works, Farrar encourages lyrical narratives to emerge, creating spaces to consider the intimate, feelingful ways in which we embody interrelated social, political, environmental and economic realities. He explores making processes, ranging from metal casting to embroidery, through complex relationship with form and content. His works often draw directly from the ‘nervous body’– involuntary expressions such as sweating, trembling and nail biting.

Recent projects have been produced using participatory sense-making as a collaborative, open ended strategy for approaching the exhibition as an experimental civic space. As an extension of his exhibition based practice he has self-published artists’ books under the imprint 7.45 Books, as well as working with Jap Sam Books (Prinsenbeek) on ‘Notes on Happiness’ and Antonis Pittas’ ‘jaune, geel, gelb, yellow. Monochrome’. His books have awarded the Best Dutch Book Designs prize in 2022, 2020, 2019, 2015 and 2014.


Jap Sam Books 

headed by Eleonoor Jap Sam, is an independent international publishing house based in the south of the Netherlands. Our publishing house publishes titles that explore developments in architecture, art, philosophy, design, photography and theory as well as the fields that touch them, such as urbanism, landscape, sociology and history. Jap Sam Books has been established to reflect, connect and respond to developments in these fields, by bringing out a range of critical and reflective books for an international audience. We believe in a multidisciplinary approach and cross-border thinking.The books that we publish are not only educational and inspirational, but also very beautifully designed, and all produced in close collaboration with our contributors.

Photo: Studio AF
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Florastraße 61, 13187 Berlin

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