MORE THAN WORDS - Visual Playground of Chinese Characters

Date: 10 Mar 2016 - 10 Apr 2016

Time: 10am to 10pm

Venue: Gallery 2
The Arts House

Having evolved thousands of years ago, and used by nearly one-quarter of the world’s population today, Chinese characters constitutes the oldest continuously used, and one of the most widely adopted writing systems in humanity. The square-block characters, originally derived from pictures and signs, possess an innate aesthetic quality that has long attracted extensive appreciation and artistic pursuit.

Self-taught artist Sun Chan is an admirer of Chinese characters since childhood and believes that the millennia-old logograms can take on new alternative expression. He transforms the writing of his mother tongue with clean lines and vibrant colors into kaleidoscope-like motifs that are reminiscent of geometric abstraction.

This exhibition features motif artwork from Chan’s Huàn Xíng (幻形), Sān Jiǎo (三角) Yuán Měi (圆美) and (樂) series, as well as derivative pattern artwork that his architect daughter Hikoko has created in tribute to his work. Chan’s hand-painted motifs juxtapose with his daughter’s cognate patterns made with digital media and industrial methods, which forge a dialogue that reveals a special bond between the two generations.

Sun and Hikoko’s works can be appreciated purely for their visual appeal, yet the embedded words engage viewers who read Chinese characters, in word-guessing games, while their exotic nature sparks curiosity and evokes imagination in others.