Monday, June 22, 2009

X Beyond O : Calligraphy - Sign - Space

School days

In contrast to last weekend, which was an alcohol-fueled romp through Taipei's early mornings, I decided this weekend to be a little more civilised, and thus lined up a morning of Mountain Biking (sweaty), followed by a rather more cultured stroll around the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei.

I turned up to quite a large exhibit of modern interpretations of Chinese calligraphy, called X Beyond O: Calligraphy - Sign - Space. I have seen my fair share of 'modern China' style exhibitions on this type of subject, but they wowed with some really very memorable pieces, including projection of characters onto graffiti'd-up school desks, piles of paper with laser-cut symbols running through and fun and games with the increasingly ubiquitous multi-touch displays.

I am still somewhat blown away by the main space, however. A huge ink pad - and I mean huge; about the size of a tennis court - flanked by a scroll and brushes on one side. Dimly lit and perfectly reflective, it really was rather a special space.

I can't pretend to be able to penetrate these deeper aspects of the culture - especially written culture - but I do think I can appreciate it none-the-less, and certainly enjoy it. I say that, as the Chinese I have been learning over the last few years is bring ground to dust, replaced by the mental effort required to survive at Dell!

Hidden images, projected into a brightly-lit room

... which entailed running around the room attempting to capture and focus the characters on Chinese fans ... one reference too far?

The main exhibition space. None more black.


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