New English Calligraphy   (1994-1998)


New English Calligraphy Classroom
Mixed media installation: desk/chair sets, copy and tracing books, brushes, ink, video.

The goal of this installation is to simulate a school-like classroom in a gallery or museum space. Desks are arranged with small containers of ink, brushes and a copybook that instructs on the basic principles of the artist's New English Calligraphy. A video produced by the artist and entitled "Elementary Square word Calligraphy Instruction," plays on a monitor in the room luring the audience into participating. Once they sit and take up the brush, learning of the New English Calligraphy begins. Developed by the artist, New English Calligraphy intends to fuse written English with written Chinese. English letters are arranged in square word format to appear like Chinese characters, yet remain legible to the English speaker. When people try to recognize and write these words, some of the thinking patterns that have been ingrained in them since they learned to read are challenged. It is the artists' belief that people must have their routine thinking attacked in this way. While undergoing this process of estrangement and re-familiarizing with one's written language, one can be reminded that the sensation of distance between other systems is self-induced.

New English Calligraphy Stones
Stone blocks with carved New English Calligraphy surnames, rubbings from the blocks.

This work is a part of the New English Calligraphy project. It employs the traditional Chinese printing technique of rubbing from stone. Flat-faced stones are carved with the New English Calligraphy characters, either words or surnames. Rubbings are made from these stones and displayed either by themselves or in other installations such as Your Surname Please, or New English Calligraphy Classroom.

Your surname Please
Mixed media installation: panels of calligraphy, computers, printers, desks and chairs.

This work was made originally for the island of Las Palmas, Spain. The surnames of the island's inhabitants were written using the alphabet of New English Calligraphy and displayed on a wall. The names were scanned into a computer and the audience was invited to find their surname in its database, print out a copy of their surname in New English Calligraphy square word form and take it home.

New English Calligraphy Texts
Rice paper, Chinese ink.

This piece uses a traditional form of Chinese Calligraphy Art to display a western piece of writing. The New English Calligraphy alphabet is us to create a piece that is Chinese in appearance, yet understandable to the western viewer. In essence, these texts portray the language or written English in a Chinese form that has never before graced the pages of English text. Poems by Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost and others have been rendered along with logos, quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung and the titles of exhibitions, such as this one for the "Third Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art".

Photo Gallery
110 W. 40th Street, Suite 2406, New York, NY 10018, USA Tel: (212) 391-9682 Fax: (212) 391-9646
All rights reserved to Inc.