White Paper Series

Hila Lulu Lin Farrah Kufer Birim

We are extremely honored to host Hila Lulu Lin at Leafing. Lin is a multidisciplinary and multi-sensory artist who works in painting, sculpture, installation, performance, cinema, video art, poetry and book publishing. Since 1991, she has been working with her own font, Lulu font, and to date has published 27 artist's books in various formats. Lin works in printmaking, engraving, sewing, sculpture, writing, video and performance. Her body of work is enormous, and it is difficult to encompass the amount of collaborations she has had over 30 years of activity. We have been talking for the past year. We decided to share the text in honor of the publication of her newest book, which is the twelfth in her White Paper Series, that was begun in 2018. We edited our conversation around the key words that Hila wrote down and sent me on WhatsApp. We interspersed books, videos, and documents of various kinds. We wanted everything, but we could only put so much on the white web page. Such is life. Here we go!


Right after graduating from Bezalel, Jerusalem, and before my first solo exhibition at the Bograshov Gallery, I had a roommate who had a PC. I typed everything I wrote on it, notebooks, stacks of them, books. I added in sound, until the computer sent the message: FULL. Can’t save anymore. The hard disk is full. So I quickly printed everything on a dot matrix printer. Then I dropped the computer, and – it didn’t save anything. The pile is in the important things box. The Land of the Lost Things.


Everything that happens is marked in the body, with the body, inside and outside the body, and despite the body. Revelations happen over years. One could say that there are things that are revealed the moment there is the possibility of an unequivocal reading of things. It happened as a possibility for the reading of the body of my work. I eventually realized that I had never put my finger on it. A second after the coronavirus started, I received an email from the director of the department for eating disorders at Tel Hashomer Hospital, inviting me to speak about my work in front of the department.

I couldn't sleep for three months. How in the world did she track me down about eating disorders now? It turns out that she had seen my exhibition Wonderful World at the Nellie Aman Gallery in 2012, and had bought the book She. In 2020, she came across the copy in her house, and invited me without knowing anything personal about me. When I was young, I went through an acute episode of anorexia nervosa, from which I nearly died. I had never told tell anyone about it in the years after. The secret of the amazing body and the possibility of its disappearance was buried deep in the earth. And just like that, a razor-sharp key was uncovered. It was a shocking revelation. Because I have always known and remember the possibility of disappearing as an extreme one.

The Burden, Cabri, 2006
An artist’s book commissioned by the Gottesman etching workshop, Cabri. Initiated and published by Gottesman Publications. A box collects engravings of the time of journey / Photographs of Hana Farah Kafr Bir’im.

​Skeletons and Skulls

Something happened in the third grade. A thread connected to writing and performance. In preparation for the first Memorial Day after the Yom Kippur War, I was chosen to read the memorial prayer at the school and neighborhood ceremony. The teacher said to come dressed in blue and white. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to ask for a new pair of Levis that were extremely hard to get. I came home and said to my mother, “The memorial prayer + blue and white = Levis!” I practiced memorizing the prayer by heart, all 12 lines. The day of the ceremony came, the roof of the communal shelter and a huge grove of pine trees. I wore a neatly ironed button-down white shirt and tight Levis jeans! The principal sees me and throws a fit, how dare you not come in a skirt, and what, for heaven’s sake, are we going to do now??? I looked like a boy. The ceremony begins, the grove is full of people, lots of people. I climb onto the roof of the shelter, and I can’t remember anything except for “May the Jewish people remember their sons and daughters.” After that, nothing. Not one word. So I keep repeating over and over again “May the Jewish people remember their sons and daughters.” And then I leave the stage.


Around the age of 10, I was overcome by a fear – the body is going to change. I used to walk around without a shirt in the house and in the yard. One day dad says: “That’s it.” No more walking around without a shirt on. Absolutely forbidden. At the same time, a mass of troubles, that developed from the core of the soul, from moving from place to place, from the kibbutz to Iran and back to a moshav in Israel, from a little girl to an adolescent. In the moshav where my family returned to I was called the Persian. The foreignness and the strange dresses. And there were the eyebrows, and there was the being different, and the blurred vision. And you don’t know what leads to what. Everything annoyed me, the body, the moving, the English teacher. So they started checking me, and in response I did some dramatic things like throw a Frisbee at the principal during the morning lineup. They sent me for treatment and I was content, because all I had to do was draw and the doctor would talk to me. At that time my cousin disappeared from the family. Suddenly I saw him in the corridor of the hospital. In an instant, I understood where they were taking me. Each of us entered a different door, the corridor was the same. The anger was enormous. A terrible storm that lasted years.


An artist’s book containing independent content-form units, in chronological order of their creation, 2007.


Sixth grade. The family doctor examines me. No shirt, please. He turns to my mother and asks: “Have you ever seen your daughter naked?” At that time the scoliosis was more than 50%. I was tested endlessly: blood, brain. Drawing in the hospital. Then there were the severe headaches, and the bad behavior. When the scoliosis was discovered, the process was quick. The back doctor says either an operation with a 50% chance of leaving you disabled or a brace that you have to wear 23 hours a day. Every year the brace was changed, to fit the growing body. For three years mom takes care of me, the belt has to be opened and closed once a day. During these years the boobs grow and the pelvis expands. I received a gift: an exemption from sports class, and school trips. It was clear to me, when I got out of the brace that no one would be able to tell me anything. Not what to do, not what not to do.


The body changes, and everything that it entails. It drives me crazy. I would disappear to Sinai for long periods. In the 10th grade I was kicked out of high school. I went to London, and hitchiked from there with a friend to his hometown in the north of England. We parted there, and I continued on my own. I returned home after a few months. The parents are waiting at the airport. They don’t approach me, I realize that they don’t recognize me. I weigh 42 kilos. I went over to them and said, “Hey, I’m back, it’s me.” The story of the blood flowing from the body once a month came. First bra. Not a joy at all. A catastrophe. Just let the blood stop forever. It took years, to be a possibility. To be real.


A picture of beautiful and beloved dad from 1956. Seeing the most beautiful man in the world: sad. Every time mom starts telling stories of heroism, he shuts her up. “These are not things to be proud of.” For years I asked, why is the beautiful father so sad? He was in the force that conquered Sinai in 1956, and some believe he was the governor of Quneitra in 1967. When he died, the family placed a basalt stone from the Golan Heights on his tombstone, engraved with the words: Salt of the earth.

Pure and Wild, 1997
Photographs: Gilad Korisky; text: Thomas Pepper


Lulu font was developed in elementary school as a handwriting without final form letters, as a possibility for dealing with a huge obstacle in standardized writing: dyslexia, which at that time did not yet exist as a clear diagnosis. An attempt to deal with the gestalt of language. In notebooks from early childhood there are no final form letters, and a lot of upside down ones, truncations and faltering. For years I couldn’t say that I write poetry, I would say that I write texts. I was in awe of poetry. In the ‘80s I discovered the Letraset sheets that were used in graphic design. Scratching them on paper. It gave me a mechanical technique full of content. In 1990, I met Ido Amin, who was in the world of computers. He had an Amiga computer with a Mac simulation, and he created the Lulu 01 version font for me on the computer so I could write, type and print.

The Land of the White Books
A journey from cover to cover, the tearing table
In collaboration with the Ruth Kanner Theater Group: Anat Zakaria, Mosh Kashi, Alon Leshem, H.L.L.F.K.B.
Photography and editing: Yair Meyuhas, 2022


[Excerpt from the text: “Five Views on the Works of Hila Lulu Lin,” Samdar Tirosh, Bograshov Gallery, 1992]

"The machine is an image that usually signifies the values of organization, of order, of rationality. The image of the machine conveys confidence that stems from the definition of the goals, the functional relationship between the means and the end, the concreteness of the result and control of the process. The works [by Hila Lulu Lin] illuminate this functionality in an ironic way: the order of operations is haphazard, the materials are demonstrably inappropriate – they are either too soft or too fragile – the connections are excessive in parts that do not need it, while other parts are not connected at all. All that is left from the functionality is some kind of passion for the production of a valuable, perfect beautiful product; a passion that is in some way ridiculous and a little sad. The combination of humor, eroticism and mechanization has a clear affinity to the works of Duchamp (in particular the giant glass – an affinity that is worthy of a separate discussion).”

CT sequence

Nu shhh dead
69 tear-out pages in an edition of 300 copies + 52 signed and numbered copies accompanied by an original silkscreen print, which were printed in the Jerusalem Print Workshop.


Circles, cycles, holes and dots, perforations. Separation. Physically, in the flesh, in books and works. The body as a space of pleasure is not something that opened up to me until a later period. If you grow up with the possibility, even if you don't like it, you can let it. Self-abuse is another option. I didn’t want volume, I didn’t want bulky things. The physical possibility would have come stealthily. If you are not embraced, you are looking. Colon. Co-sleeping. Second generation: '48, '56, '67, '73, '82, until the bone.


I was born Hila Lin, which is short for Linkovsky. My grandparents, who came from Russia, Poland and Ukraine, shortened it to Lin. Leora, my beloved friend, called me Lulu. Lulu means pearl in Arabic. From the moment I started exhibiting I appeared as Hila Lulu Lin. With the birth of our first son, Fuad 9which means courageous heart), I expanded it to Hila Lulu Lin Farah Kufer Bir’im.

In_Out – 1999 – Swallowing Pearls


An artist's book is a total process. A long thread: Scrabble with Grandma, “volumes” of the children’s newspaper Davar leyeladim, collections, gold, scrapbooks with folded corners, secrets, sketchbooks, victory albums, the Ha’olam hamuflah (amazing world) card collection and albums. When I arrived in New York for the first time in 1983, I walked into the Printed Matter bookstore, and realized it was possible. The first artist’s book Never Dirty (pbulsiehd by the Art Workshop in Yavne 1992), was a hybrid between a catalog and an artist’s book. It foretold a deep infatuation, and everything that appeared afterwards: the transparent pages, the manual mechanics, the stamps, the photography, the egg and the pearls around the yolk. Making a book is (also) resistance.


Forgetting makes things possible for me. When I was little I thought I wouldn’t make it to 30. It comforted me. Dad was always worrying “what will you do when you grow up?” I wrote to myself what not to do when I grow up. In the first book in the White Books series [OsefAtsm[A]i018], I decided that I wanted to publish all the words of the voice of the years – that were and will be, forward and backward, in pocket notebooks, days and nights, disease-ridden. Even if they are super personal. The personal body is a principle body, and everything has a price. Every publication has a price.

Never Dirty, 1992.
Hila's first artist book.

What book should we add next to our library?

The Backstage of a Dishwashing Webshow by Keren Katz.

Where can readers buy your book?

Magazine 3 Jaffa Books, Sipur Pashut bookstore, and through my email​​

​For Hila Lulu Lin Farrah Kufer Birim’s Vimeo, click here.

To download the full text of the article by Samdar Tirosh [Hebrew], click here.

Hila Lulu Lin Farrah Kufer Birim, born in Afula in 1964, lives and creates in Tel Aviv-Yafo. Has a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. A multidisciplinary and multi- sensory artist, she has been working for years in various mediums: painting, sculpture, installation, performance, cinema, video art, poetry and publishing. To date, she has published 27 artist’s books in various formats, using the unique Lulu font that she created. She is an associate professor at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem.